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An Interview with Paul Regan

Director of Media Innovation and Strategy at Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading multinational financial services provider in Canada. As the director of media innovation and strategy, Paul Regan’s mandate is to continuously evolve the company’s digital marketing strategy and tactics. He works closely with media planners, as well as creative and brand teams, to craft integrated programs designed to engage consumers across multiple touchpoints, including TV, social media, mobile and digital out-of-home. In prior roles, Regan led the digital strategy for Fidelity Investments and The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper.

How would you describe your role?

Paul Regan: My job is to promote digital integration across all media, particularly social media. At a practical level, I’m working with the media planners and channel leaders who are building our campaigns to incorporate leading-edge technologies and solutions that will power our campaigns.

Scotiabank, as an organization, has realized there’s a need for integration across all media. When you think about it, digital’s real value is empowering other things. I almost see it as a public utility, like heat, water and electricity. Like a public utility, digital is readily available, and we can’t really operate without it. It’s arguably the connective tissue between all media.

What is an example of a recent integrated campaign?

Regan: Our SCENE Program is a partnership between Scotiabank and Cineplex Entertainment. With a SCENE debit card, consumers can earn points on all their debit card purchases, and they can redeem the points at Cineplex theaters for free movies and other rewards. We promoted the program with near field communications, QR codes and out-of-home media. We also did a heavy play in social media with a Facebook contest in which people voted for their favorite movies to win free movies for a year. The top-voted movies would then be shown in outdoor “pop-up” events across Canada. Audiences could also watch one of our TV spots on Facebook and earn free FarmVille points. A Facebook contest app is the newest feature of this program.

What other emerging media platforms or technologies are you looking to work with?

Regan: We’re looking at the future of demand-side platforms (DSPs) and programmatic buying. I think all marketers worth their salt have to take a close look at it and determine whether it will be additive or transformative. It’s going to affect the way we buy media and do marketing across all media. One of the best lines I’ve heard was, “It’s going to turn ‘Mad Men’ into math men.”

How has eMarketer helped guide your integrated marketing efforts?

Regan: It validates trends about what we see going on in the market and the competitive landscape. It helps us understand our audience demographics and what those audiences are going to be interested in or respond to.

I like eMarketer’s comparative analysis—the Comparative Estimates that show data from several research providers. Those give us a strong sense of where we can move from the creative or gut side to the logical side of our thinking. We can validate some of the things that we think might be true or refute them.

The industry trends are helpful, too. On Monday, I might be doing a really deep dive into mobile and trying to understand where mobile marketing is going, and on Thursday I have to learn everything about search and catch up on DSPs or whatever it is. eMarketer allows me to go broad and deep at the same time—and to get really clear stats.

What are some topics you’ve recently engaged with on eMarketer?

Regan: I checked on the rate of growth for various social platforms like Pinterest—absolute growth vs. relative growth—because a certain platform might be growing by 200%, but from my standpoint, I want to know how many Canadians are really using it.

QR code adoption is another one that I looked at. I really wanted to know how many Canadians are engaging with QR codes. eMarketer helps me cut through the clutter, because there’s a lot of spin around a lot of this stuff.

How would you say eMarketer is helping you solve specific business challenges?

Regan: If you need to write a business case, you need facts from eMarketer. We write a lot of business cases, and they’re only going to have an impact if we have the facts. People are only going to be influenced if you state those facts. eMarketer is the perfect fact finder for me to bolster an argument or unlock people’s thinking. When people see the numbers, when they see the trends, they recognize they have to act. So in many ways, eMarketer is a great motivator.

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Paul Regan

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“eMarketer allows me to go broad and deep at the same time—and to get really clear stats.”


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