Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Trinity Lunch – Meet the Sponsors: Rob Blake, Managing Director UK, Channel Factory

Ahead of NDA’s second “legendary” Trinity Lunch to be held in Manchester, we catchup with Rob Blake, Managing Director UK, Channel Factory.

Why did you decide to support this latest Trinity Lunch event?

We sponsored the first edition of Trinity Lunch North last year and found it to be a big win – a highly valuable networking opportunity with great, like-minded people, served in a relaxed, fun environment.

Justin and the Bluestripe crew are excellent and they’ve curated an event that you come away from with fresh perspectives, great conversations and a host of new connections – it felt nothing like work, just fun! That’s always a massive benefit and made it a no brainer for us to support the event for a second year.

What are your clients/customers talking about right now? What are the big priorities?

A big priority we’re seeing from some of our key clients is that they and their brands need assurance that they’re being viewed by the right audience and within the right context which is obviously our area of expertise. AI is another big topic, in terms of how it can be utilised in creative media planning and exploring other tech applied opportunities within marketing and personalised content etc.

We will see a lot more of this being adopted in 2024. I see a lot of companies still behind the hiring curve, they’re massively understaffed so resource has become a big conversation for customers alongside AI, which is ironic considering the fear associated with AI taking jobs!

Are there any trends you are seeing at the moment that might be important over the next 12 months or beyond?

The growth of CTV platforms is continuing to increase and linear TV needs to evolve or the consequences could be dire – brands need to be really strategic with their budgets in FY24. I hope that ‘people’ keep trending in terms of mental health awareness but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

We’re still dealing with the effects of lockdown and people are feeling burnout and stressors like never before. The workplace needs to be at the forefront of supporting and investing in their people’s wellbeing, those who don’t will lose their talent.

Is the digital marketing industry ready for the ‘cookieless’ era?

In short, no. I think there’s still a lot for technology companies to resolve, both internally and externally. One of the most immediate consequences is the challenge of tracking users across devices and platforms as this will result in difficulties delivering targeted ads and measuring campaign effectiveness. However, in the long run, the cookieless world could be beneficial for digital marketing as it’s also being overviewed and overused and still seems to target the wrong users.

Companies are going to have to demonstrate their value in this space, outside of cookie retargeting etc. At Channel Factory, we’ve been operating cookieless for 4 years now so the impact should be little to none for us but I think a lot of companies will feel it in their ad dollars bank balance.

Is it becoming easier or harder to execute an omnichannel advertising campaign?

With the emergence of new e-commerce platforms and developments, I think it is becoming easier but it certainly wasn’t easy to begin with. The challenges I see that still remain are lack of attribution, collecting and connecting offline & online data, one size fits all content, incorrect KPI’s, silos in the supply chain – just to name a few!

It’s a big task but it’s not impossible – I’ll leave that for a digital person a lot smarter than me to solve!