Before he joined Tagger Media in May 2017 and later became CEO, Dave Dickman had worked in senior media, sales and marketing roles at major media and tech companies including Turner Broadcasting, Yahoo, Warner Bros, Disney and Apple. Tagger Media is a 360 influencer marketing platform that allows brands and agencies to maximize their activations and strategies.
The Challenge of Growing Complexity
A maturing of the influencer marketing space that has been accompanied by the availability of vast amounts of data.
“You can find anything within the influencer sphere. For example, if I’m looking for somebody interested in diabetes or breast cancer because my siblings have the condition or I do or I’m a big supporter of that cause, I can search the database to find anybody who has mentioned a word, a hashtag, a keyword to do with the condition. I could market to those niche audiences.”
The global nature of influencer marketing has taken off.
“By the nature of influencers, the audiences are not always in one country. It might be English-speaking but you’re going to get Americans, Australians, Brits and Canadians all in that audience. And it’s the same for any of the other languages. It’s global in nature.”
This complexity and more has created a market need for an advanced influencer marketing platform.
“Audiences are there in droves. Marketers are trying to figure out how to engage those audiences. But they needed the data to figure out what type of influencers they should hire. Who’s my message getting in front of? What type of audience? What’s the ROI? How do I measure this against my other channels such as cable and broadcast? Think about all the platforms you’ve got. Lots of different metrics. Oftentimes, clients hire hundreds or thousands of influencers. It’s very complicated to approve the posts and pull the impression data. So marketers wanted a sophisticated easy-to-use tool to do this in house.”
Enter Tagger: The ‘Salesforce of Influencer Marketing’
Tagger has four main components.
“First, there’s a social listening aspect we branded ‘Signals’. Who’s following you? Who’s following your competition? Look at what your competition has done in influencer marketing and find out whether you want to do something different or go after a similar type of influencer. Second, there’s discovery. Like a Google search. Third, there’s a campaign workflow. Fourth, there’s a reporting feature where you can pull all the data in. All of these in aggregate form a comprehensive platform for anything in influencer marketing.”
He describes Tagger as the Bloomberg terminal or Salesforce of influencer marketing.
“Some clients are using it to buy, some using it to sell but we give them all the data so they can make informed decisions. We want to be that currency everyone is using to transact in the space of influencer marketing. We want to make this an easy execution. Tagger’s in 11 different languages. It’s really built for scale. It’s built for a small direct-to-consumer brand or for a large enterprise business.”
It aims to provide granularity to the process brands or agencies use when looking for the right influencers.
“If I just do a search on my own looking for moms for instance, that’s a very broad category. But if I’m a company in LA trying to find moms who are nutrition focused or fashion forward or all those different proxies, I could put in affinities into Tagger and say ‘Find me audiences that shop at Whole Foods, that have been pregnant, and that mentioned hashtag pregnant or pregnancy in the past 90 days’. I’ll get this subset of moms who are in the market for my products. So when I hire those influencers, my result is going to be phenomenal in terms of moving products versus just saying ‘I’m just going to target some moms’. It makes a huge difference.”
Dave reveals that Tagger spent a lot of time ensuring the product was in good working order before focusing on the commercial aspect of it.
“Our first revenue was in 2017 and the company had been around for a couple of years. We went to the market with some clients to kind of learn, see what’s going on. We were fortunate that one of our early clients was VaynerMedia. They were doing quite a bit of work in influencer marketing. And Peter Kennedy (founder and president of Tagger) had spent time with them. They helped us directionally build Tagger on what they wanted to do. This gave us the ability to out and resell that to a lot of other brands.”
Knowing What Works and What Doesn’t
Tagger allows clients to see what is working and what is not and take appropriate action.
“There’s a host of data available as a client of tagger. So it depends on what you are trying to measure. Oftentimes, our clients are looking at engagement levels. There’s also link tracking so you can tie back to a specific post. If I hired 50 influencers and 30 did of them did a really great job based on my benchmarks, I might resign those 30 and then the 20 that did less well, investigate why it didn’t work out so well. Then I can bring 20 new people in. So you can always optimize based on the metrics you’re looking for.”
It’s not just brands and agencies. Tagger offers value for creators too.
“If I’m a creator and want to pitch myself to Adidas, I can say ‘Well, I like Adidas and I would like to get a brand deal with them’. But if I go on to Tagger as a creator and could see my audience actually has a propensity for Nike not Adidas, I could build a media card with that information then pitch myself to Nike with some data to support why they should hire me because my audience loves their product.”
Dave Dickman Looking to the Future
Dave would like to see the industry’s maturity happen faster.
“The ROI is there. How can we accelerate the ad spend going into influencer marketing because it’s not going away any time soon?”
He is looking to tap into the global nature and growth of influencer marketing.
“We see big growth in Latin America, all through Asia Pacific (including big ad markets in South Korea, Japan as well as other big Asian countries) and Western Europe (though the UK has always been a big market for us). For us, it’s getting the global nature of this moving really quickly and out in the market. What’s great about the influencer marketing space is the addressable market is anybody who’s advertising. It can be really local or a large company. It fits into all the different tiers of clients. You have the enterprise level big clients which could be Fortune 500 companies. Then you also have SMBs and even some direct-to-consumer tiny brands.”
Dave Dickman is CEO of Tagger Media, a comprehensive Influencer Marketing platform offering best in class tools to agencies, brands and media companies. He is an experienced media executive, having served in senior leadership positions at a wide range of media and tech companies including Reelio (acquired by AT&T/Fullscreen Media), iAd (Apple’s advertising division), Disney Interactive, Warner Bros Digital Media, Yahoo and Turner Broadcasting. He resides in Los Angeles, CA.