4 Minutes With Karin Ross: The Power Of Creative To Drive Connection

MMA Germany
MMA Germany
Published in
2 min readSep 25, 2023

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Compelling creatives and brand action take centre stage in today’s advertising landscape. Unlike when data-driven performance marketing dominated the industry, creative now rules customer segmentation, and businesses looking to become major players must construct their strategy using personalised marketing messages informed by audience listening.

Marketing master and digital savant Karin Ross takes the mic in this month’s “4 Minutes With…” episode. Karin is the CEO of GroupM Germany, where she leads nearly 3,000 people across offices and champions the next era of media where “advertising works better for people.” What’s more, she is one of the select executives on this year’s SMARTIES Germany judges panel.

Watch Karin’s full interview below.

Become A Brand With Attitude

Customer-centricity took a backseat during the plug-and-chug days of performance marketing. Now, top-performing brands tap into customer sentiments to inform their decision-making and deliver on KPIs. According to a Sprout Social survey, 57% of customers who feel heard by a brand will increase their spending with the business, and 76% will purchase from that brand over competitors.

But businesses shouldn’t stop at just listening. “It’s good to listen to your community directly, what they want and don’t want,” Karin Ross says. “But [brands should] also take a stand.”

GroupM helped Deutsche Telekom do just that in July. Through its agency Mindshare, the leading media investment group supported the telco as it launched the newest additions to its long-standing “Against Hate on the Net” campaign. Customers praised Telekom for its well-implemented message and expressed gratitude for speaking up about a topic that mattered to them.

“It’s not only a campaign, right?” says Ross. “It’s [having] an attitude and taking a stand.”

Creative Is King

Though audience listening gives big brands a leg up, when it comes to crafting captivating creatives, companies can’t rely solely on customer feedback. Instead, to get the most mileage out of their best ideas, marketers should listen across touchpoints and utilise user data to create a holistic view of consumer sentiment.

A new study by ad solutions company Emodo reports that creative quality is the single most important factor in driving ad attention. Brands looking to make a splash in the post-privacy era should shift their targeting tactics to prioritise creativity and produce messages that resonate with target audiences.

“The perfect media strategy is about combining the great idea with the right ingredients like media, data, and technology,” Ross says. “Getting all of these ingredients right can unleash [an idea’s potential] and really make the message spread.”

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MMA Germany
MMA Germany

MMA's German Local Council strives to stimulate the growth of marketing and its associated technologies in the country.