Staff Q&A: Nicola Stallard
By Amanda Gross
Coming from a big agency background and working with some of New Zealand's most treasured brands, Nicola Stallard is certainly a seasoned marketer. But it's the data-driven solutions she's most excited to get stuck into at krunch.co.
Welcome to krunch.co! What’s different about your role here to what you managed in your previous roles?
Previously I was involved in a lot of above the line work - billboards, radio, press. I worked with big brands like Vodafone, Watties, ANZ and Auckland Council. But I also did plenty of digital work.
However, I have never worked at an agency that is able to use data the way krunch.co does - there’s far more detail here as to what we do and how we do it - we are following a particular person and audience and can track their journey from the very top of the funnel down to the final purchase.
That is a level that most people cannot access. The hard thing for most agencies is reporting - to know when and where the customer came in and why, and be able to really show that to clients. That’s what I find most interesting about working here - we can track the entire customer journey to show our clients what impact their digital marketing is having.
You have been involved in several branding projects, right?
Yes, I’ve been involved with branding projects and rebranding projects in both digital and above-the-line capacities. For example, I was involved in the ANZ rebrand, which was a complete overhaul of the brand - changing tone of voice, look and feel and imagery - which had both digital and above-the-line components.
For the launch of Tokyo Dry for Lion Nathan, my team had to figure out what the brand was going to look like online. We did a lot of videos, looked into gifs and stop motion imagery for social and the website. It was our job to form what the brand looked like on digital and how to communicate what the brand was all about on digital channels.
Coming from an above-the-line background, how did you see the roles of digital vs offline?
When an above-the-line agency builds the brand, it’s the initial thoughts and concept. But the hard part is flowing that into digital and knowing how to target people correctly, and what will appeal to them at what stage in the journey.
When branding using digital, you have a lot more data to help you plan which message is going to be where, and why it’s going to be there. Because you can’t just put a TVC on a digital platform, or a billboard on social media - that’s just not gonna work.
How do you see krunch.co’s unique mix of data + tech + content impacting brand?
I think it’s quite important. With this model, you get insights from each area of the business. I haven’t seen a lot of other agencies collaborate the way krunch.co does - everyone is experts in their individual fields, and when they all come together, we’re able to tick all the boxes for a client.
Here, we use the data to inform the message and content and how we talk to people, and we have the tech to actually put that “right message” in the right place and automate it.
What is a data-driven approach to branding?
It’s knowing the audience - where they’ll be at a given point in time, what they’ll click on, and when to tell them the right message. For example, we can develop a brand message for the top of the funnel, and we can use data to determine when to start changing the message at different stages of the customer’s buying journey.
Data gives you the knowledge of how to talk to these people. You’re not just sending a sales message to a cold lead - you’re informed about what the person needs to hear.
Does offline media still play a role in branding?
It’s important because it ensures brand is front of mind. The aim for brands would be to be in the top 3 considerations in someone’s mind. When you see a certain billboard, and then recognise the artwork on a digital banner, that brand and message is more likely to be cemented in the front of someone’s mind.
How is digital going to change branding of the future?
A lot of money has now gone into digital - so branding projects are becoming more about digital than they ever were before. Budgets are getting cut in above-the-line areas, like radio, because brands want to instead spend where they can target people directly and see direct return on their investment.