Q&A: Steve Kerho, SVP of analytics, media 
and marketing optimization, Organic

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Steve Kerho
Steve Kerho

Organic's SVP of analytics, media and marketing optimization Steve Kerho discusses best practices and challenges in marketing's evolution.

Q: You previously have worked on 
campaigns for Nissan and Mazda. 
What are the direct and digital 
marketing techniques you use with your financial services and hospitality clients, 
and how do they differ from campaigns 
for the automakers?

A: I think there are some best practices that definitely overlap between different verticals. You have to look at the media mix, the reach of media and frequency objectives. There are [also] best practices about how you would calculate ROI. What's different is the customer's journey. When you think about auto, you're in the market, what, every four to five years? Customers have to do a lot of research; they have to figure out what they can afford. In the consumer packaged goods space, consumers are not as involved with research and you make those purchases more often. 

Q: Organic professes to employ a "consumer empathy-based approach" in its strategizing. What would you consider to be such an 
approach and how does that work in 
different channels?

A: There's another way we like to think of it: We want to walk a mile in our consumers' shoes. We want to understand the daily life they have, their challenges, what makes them feel good and what success looks like to them. If we're going to market to them effectively, we have to know what's inside their heads. 

Q: Besides the ever-changing nature of the industry, what would you consider to be a marketer's biggest challenge now?

A: The way we're consuming media information has become increasingly fragmented. One of the biggest challenges in this fragmented media space is, how do you follow a good audience accumulation model? People's time is carved up into so many channels. How are you going to access an audience across media, and how do you integrate an online plan with an offline plan? The metrics don't necessarily align well. Whenever you're running a campaign, you're running a test. Test early and test often. You're always in a learning lab. 

Q: Quick response codes are everywhere now. What do you predict will be the next evolution in the digital space?

A: We've seen a lot of growth in what we refer to as the mobile Web, or the Web as it relates to all of these smartphones. You've always got it with you, and there are a variety of metrics that relate to that [such as] mobile search and geo-targeted search. Shopper marketing is another area. What kind of activities can we do in-store, in that retail space, that can help a shopper make a better decision? We'll see digital brought more into the retail space. 

Q: Are there any marketing techniques 
currently in practice that you feel have become antiquated or that you feel should 
be left behind?

A: Marketers talking inconsistently from one channel to another. When you add new marketing channels, the old ones don't go away, but the way we use them evolves. They still 
have a space if you use them 

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