The Soda Academy


Since the first advertising agency opened in 1843, the industry has largely adhered to a sequential workflow starting with media buying and continuing through to creative development and production. While there have undoubtedly been some variations on that theme over time, the essential process agencies around the globe have followed to bring campaigns to fruition has been surprisingly consistent – running almost like clockwork.

With the dawn of the digital age, however, it’s as if the clock suddenly accelerated to keep pace with the speed of technology, forcing marketers to change their thinking and to adopt new models in order to connect with an information-hungry, tech-savvy audience.

The accelerated pace of innovation and technological change raises a whole host of challenges for marketers, but it also provides opportunities to leverage real-time feedback about consumer behavior, interests and preferences in unprecedented ways.

In this issue of Modern Marketer, we examine how forward-thinking companies are doing just that…creating a virtuous cycle of continuous testing and learning that leads to more valuable digital experiences and ultimately to stronger business outcomes.

Fortunately, our grade school teachers instilled in us a solid understanding of the Scientific Method, a research process that we as marketers should now revisit in order to create better, more engaging work:

  • Ask a Question
  • Do Background Research
  • Construct a Hypothesis
  • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
  • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
  • Communicate Your Results

We begin with Nathan Moody from Stimulant who looks at what we can learn from architectural theory, human geography and other research-based disciplines to create place-based digital experiences that are “spatially literate.” As Moody correctly points out, such literacy can only be achieved through a holistic understanding of people’s expectations within a given physical context.

Next, Google’s Becky Chappell sits down with SoDA member and Fancy Pants Group COO Robby Rigano to explore what forward-looking brands need to do in order to design and deploy dynamic creative based on a variety of real-time insights in order to increase the relevance and efficacy of their marketing campaigns.

Our hypothesis…immersing yourself in the thought leadership of these two contributors will be time well spent.