Adweek salutes the 2017 class of Media All-Stars
Lee Beale, managing director, Crossmedia
Redbox is more than just a kiosk version of a Blockbuster store. In fact, if you ask Crossmedia, an independent, alternative creative media agency, Redbox isn’t about renting DVDs at all.
Lee Beale, Crossmedia’s managing director, helped design the shop’s Redbox analytics system to communicate to clients with complete transparency what their media buys can accomplish. Beale wanted to design an analytics program that would be immediately recognizable to any CMO who started using it and put the client’s mentality at the forefront of its design. “I saw a disconnect between the engine and the tires of the ad industry,” explains Beale.
“We’re not here to give lip service to clients, and some of the time we end up optimizing ourselves out of the job,” he adds. “We break down the silos of data processing and visualization and business strategy.”
Crossmedia’s Redbox system, and the analytics team that works on it—overseen by Beale—helps clients think of and measure media as a consumer journey. “The problem with industry silos is you end up creating a fake world of human beings and you forget about environmental factors that impact every channel,” says Beale.
This system has been put to use for recent clients including U.S. Bank, Jägermeister, Fordham University and Nordstrom Rack. With its own programmatic unit that has placed some $350 million in media spend, Crossmedia’s tech- and client-focused strategies are pitched as ways to help companies save money on their outlays. “In theory, the industry is more measurable than ever, which is a blessing and a curse,” says Beale. “The digital world can be a black hole of fraud, but we’re here to diagnose what’s actually happening.”
“Lee has helped us navigate a sea of unstructured marketing data,” notes Kelly Colbert, vp of social marketing for U.S. Bank, “and has architected dashboards that are a compass for campaign success.”
Colbert appreciates Beale’s approach to data and technology, as his commitment to delivering decision-making information in a digestible format helps clients choose the right media buying path.
“Lee has a unique approach where he creates a fascinating narrative derived directly from the data,” adds Colbert. “He’s humble, modest and alarmingly bright. He’s a storyteller and the data creates the plot line.” —Sami Main