Michael Girgis, formerly president of digital advertising network Pattison Onestop, and Deborah Hall, the founder of Web2Mobile, have co-founded a new Toronto-based performance marketing company called Performance Content Group.
Billing itself as a “data-driven media innovations firm,” Performance Content is designed to lead agencies and brands through the growing and rapidly evolving content marketing space.
According to Girgis, the company sits at the intersection of social listening, content marketing innovation and big data. It synthesizes data collected from some of the top social listening tools – it has partnerships in place with more than a dozen “specialty” data partners that are a combination of licensing and co-development – as well as first-party brand data to generate real-time, predictive insights designed to maximize advertising impact.
“We’ll be producing information that is extremely relevant to the brand and allows them to weave some of it into blog posts, the perfect tweet or tweets that are going to be very relevant to a brand’s users based on conversations they’re having,” said Girgis.
A recent beta test, for example, revealed that a certain percentage of a brand’s customers are passionate about ironman hiking. That information was presented to a media agency partner to help the brand fine-tune its content marketing strategy. “We’re helping brands really distill the relevance of content right to the audience using the best data out there,” said Girgis.
Meanwhile, the company’s human element also helps eliminate “trends” that are being driven by temporary factors that automation might not be able to detect. Crack cocaine might not be experiencing a resurgence, for example, but could just be a major topic of discussion in the blogosphere due to certain recent events.
“Its not just social listening or a brand’s first-party browsing data that’s important,” said Girgis. “And there isn’t necessarily a company that’s taken this approach when it comes to taking layers and layers of different data and insights.”
Performance’s senior leadership team boasts a combined 40 years of digital media experience. In addition to Hall (who left Torstar Digital in September, two years after it acquired Web2Mobile) and Girgis (who left Pattison OneStop last year), its leadership group includes Jake Neiman, who co-founded Onestop Media Group with Girgis, and Oshoma Momoh, who was formerly part of the leadership team for Microsoft’s Bing search marketing product.
“I’ve always been intrigued by finding a solution where there are gaps,” said Girgis, who likened the current excitement and uncertainty in the content marketing arena to what was taking place in digital out-of-home in the early 2000s. “It feels like the same excitement of a space that needs a lot of education. There’s disruptive technology that’s affecting it, so it’s exciting to see what’s going to stick and what isn’t.”