Unruly Welcomes Omnicom-Alum Jeff Minsky as SVP, Client and Agency Development

 Jeff Minsky recently joined the Unruly US Sales team as SVP, Client and Agency Development.

In his new role, Minsky will be responsible for building key agency and client relationships by developing insights-driven analysis of major trends, including further development of Unruly’s Future Video Lab.

Jeff is an industry pioneer, one of the first to successfully scale search marketing,and has advised senior marketers and their teams on the latest technologies and their impact on media consumption during his time at Omnicom.

We asked Jeff to share his thoughts on the industry, where it’s going, and where he sees Unruly fitting into it all.

Can you tell me a little bit more about your role at Unruly?

My role is agency and client development. The way I view that is to not only evangelize and educate people who have been my friends in the industry for 27 years about the great product that we have, but also give a unique perspective on where video and media consumption is heading.

As an industry, we have been mired in a narrow definition of digital advertising for about 15 years. About eight or nine years ago, broadband really came to a tipping point. But we’ve been stuck in definitions of success that were created when all you could do was a 3-second looping gif. The world has moved way beyond that. My role is to show marketers and their advisors – the agencies – that it’s time to move past that metric.

What drew you to Unruly?

Beyond Unruly’s product and the alignment of where media consumption is headed, it was the culture and the people. I was blown away by just how smart the people here are, and how incredibly authentic they are. And that is huge for me to say because I really believe in authenticity.

I have seen a lot of lip service in the past just to drive more dollars. Clearly, we all want more business, but there is a deep, deep, deep commitment at Unruly to make advertising better.

To take a different view. And to not be mired in the status quo, simply to do things the way things were. There is agility, there is risk taking, but educated risk taking. And there’s just a lot of smart people.

What trends in advertising are most interesting to you right now?

I’m a firm believer that the brand is making a comeback. For years, the technical limitations of digital advertising has limited its ability to act as a storyteller. As video usage has grown, we have been able to hit a scale on video ads that bring us back to the world of growing brand value through emotional connections with consumers, with the added benefit of interactivity to draw consumers into further conversations with Brands.

If you track every change in consumer media consumption, it’s been triggered by a leap in bandwidth. We’re at the precipice of another major leap of bandwidth in the US, predicated by the competition that Google Fiber has stirred up, the imminent rollout of 5G and the evaluation of DOCSIS 3.1 that allows for gigabyte-per-second download speeds.

The web we have today is not the web we’ll have tomorrow. And by tomorrow, I don’t mean three to five years out, I literally mean in the next few months to a year.

If you look at this bandwidth, what that opens up is video truly being the standard ad unit for the web. Every type of publisher, whether that’s a content video producer or traditional “print” publishers, have the right and ability to lean out and make money off video. And I believe that is an area where Unruly truly is the leader in the space.

How do you see programmatic advertising shifting in the next 5-10 years?

I think there was a hyper-exuberance in the early days of programmatic to really look at it as a pure direct response model. I think we are now suffering the consequences of our sins, as there have been a bit of a backlash against what was previously defined as programmatic advertising.

RTB will continue to focus on the more Direct Response aspects of programmatic. However, programmatic is so much more than that and will continue to evolve. One of my favorite sayings is “the cobbler’s children have no shoes.” For too long buyers and sellers have been advocating digital, but not using the tools at our disposal for our own needs. The shift towards programmatic will change that. However, looking even further out, I see a huge shift towards greater data visualization and predictive tools driven by the programmatic universe and a true tie to first party data and CRM which ultimately will allow for greater efficiency and efficacy of message for marketers.

I also do believe we will see the programmatic space redefine the creative world. We all have very different reasons for buying a product and a service. What appeals to you (or turns you off) about a product or service may likely differ greatly from what appeals to me. Or, perhaps, I just became a customer and would be perturbed by seeing an acquisition message so close to the initial purchase. In the past, for reasons of efficiency and lack of knowledge, the marketing world has gone to a one-size fits all messaging strategy. That is no longer necessary and the programmatic world will bring us incredibly sophisticated ways of ensuring that compelling messages are delivered to the right consumer at the right time, in the right frame of mind to most willingly accept and delight in the message.

What do agencies need to be thinking about that isn’t on their radar?

I think agencies need to be re-evaluating the metrics of success away from strict direct response metrics. I’m not suggesting we throw it away, but we’ve spent so many years hyper-focused on direct response metrics that we forgot there are many, many products out there that are brand-oriented and look at Brand Value, Brand Favorability, Willingness to Recommend, and Emotion.

What I really like about Unruly is that while we are always optimizing to deliver the most efficient campaigns to drive sales, they’re also looking to optimizing the other 99.7% of the experience that the consumer gets when exposed to marketers’ messaging.

I believe that traditionally the digital world has been ridiculously hyper-focused on the 0.03% (clickrates) of the exposure to the detriment of the overall campaign. In a broadband environment, where creative can tell a story, then the best practices of how to tell a story, and how to optimize that story and how to use that story to create an effective communication plan is what Unruly can bring to the table.

One other area that is definitely on the radar of Agencies and Clients, but really only as experimental phase is Virtual Reality. There is no question that the technology is not there yet to make it a mass medium. However, I do believe that within the next 12-24 months we are going to see vast improvements in the quality of the video, in addition to a drop in the price of entry for consumers to enjoy superb VR experiences. I am convinced, for a number of reasons, that this isn’t 3D 2.0, but a true change in the future of video. The investment cash flow, the deep pockets behind VR, the potential societal benefits, in addition to the passion that VR producers have toward the medium are only a few of the reasons that I think VR will bring entirely new video-based emotional experiences to consumers. Unruly’s core value proposition lends itself extremely well to these types of experiences and we’ll be keeping a close eye as VR evolves.

What makes you Unruly?

I have always been slightly ahead of the curve, if you will. And that’s been both a blessing and a curse. But I embrace it, and I am more than happy to challenge the status quo – when I am backed up by data. I don’t do it just for the sake of challenge,  but I do it because there is an element of common sense and data that helps back up the clear path that Digital is on to better marketing for all involved.

I try to stay as client-focused as possible. I was taught early on in my career that we are a client service industry, and if we want to stay in business, we have to work on behalf of my clients. And sometimes, even when it is not to the benefit of the organization I am with, I will always err on the side of the client, because that is ultimately to the benefit of the organization. And that makes me a little Unruly.


And I like tequila!

What’s your favorite social video?

To get in touch, email Jeff at jeff.minsky@unrulygroup.com, Tweet him on @mediawhiz, or find him on LinkedIn.