Marketing Maestros

Advertising Transparency – Let the Buyer Beware

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jul 30, 2014 10:00am ET

A few days ago The Wall Street Journal published an article titled,“Why Advertisers Are Questioning How Agency Trading Desks Work.” 

The article noted that, “Recent research conducted by the ANA and market research firm Forrester found that trading desk transparency ranked among marketers’ biggest concerns about media buying.” That is indeed true! The ANA/Forrester survey asked marketers about their concern on a variety of media related issues. As the chart below shows, agency trading desks are noted to be an “emerging concern.”

Back in 2011, we found a very low level of awareness and understanding among members on agency trading desks and that resulted in the ANA white paper titled, “Agency Trading Desks – Basics Marketers Need to Know and Questions to Ask.” The paper covered issues including the benefits of agency trading desks, criticisms of agency trading desks, and suggestions on what clients need to do. Interestingly, many of the criticisms identified in 2011 – including lack of transparency and rebates (from publishers to agencies) – are issues that we continue to hear about.

Two points made in that 2011 white paper bear repeating today:

Today’s media environment, including the relationship between clients and media agencies (and, in turn, media agencies and media companies), is less transparent than it’s ever been during any of our respective careers (and that’s true for both a 21 year old starting out and a 60 year old veteran).  Marketers need to be aware of that and ask questions or, otherwise, let the buyer beware.

75 Percent of Office Workers Do This

By Jesse Feldman, senior manager of content strategy and partnerships
Posted: Jul 29, 2014 11:00am ET

You’re probably one of the 75 percent of office workers who eats lunch at his or her desk. Let me explain how you can turn desktop dining into a continuing education experience:  ANA's complimentary Webinar Wednesday program runs virtually every Wednesday at 1pm ET.

Click here to view upcoming webinars.

Spend a lunch break improving your skills and preparing to impress in your next meeting. Missed a webinar of interest? No problem. You can also watch the video on-demand or read one of our recaps for an easy-to-follow, detailed synopsis of the webinar.

Here are some past webinars with written recaps (click “Event Recap” in the right column at the link) that will make great lunchtime companions:

Industry Study of Advertising Bot Fraud Announced!

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jul 14, 2014 10:51am ET

ANA and online fraud detection firm White Ops have announced a joint research initiative to determine the level of bot fraud occurring across the digital advertising industry and provide actionable data and insights which marketers can use to reduce bot fraud in their future campaigns.

Bot fraud refers to sites with phony traffic that collect payments from advertisers through the middlemen who aggregate space across many sites and then resell that space.  These guys are criminals!  This ANA/White Ops initiative is in response to recent estimates that 25-50% of money spent on digital advertising is wasted and much of that includes bot fraud, which affects display, video, mobile and social. 

Some thirty (30) ANA member companies are participating in this initiative across categories including automotive, consumer products, financial, hospitality, pharmaceutical, QSR, retail, spirits, technology and travel.

During the study, each participant’s advertising will be tagged by White Ops to help identify fraud.  Each participant will be given a customized confidential report providing overall fraud rates, fraud by platform (desktop, mobile), format (display, video), channel (publisher, network, exchange) and other relevant findings.

The overall results of the study will be aggregated and made available to all participants and the wider industry. This will allow individual participants to benchmark their specific findings against the industry, leading to specific knowledge on ad budget waste and intelligence that will allow for stronger future negotiation and media mix optimization.  Aggregated results and recommendations will be shared with the industry in the fourth quarter.

Watch out fraudsters and criminals – we’re coming after you.


Let Me Tell You About Don

By Michael Berberich, manager, marketing knowledge center
Posted: Jul 1, 2014 12:30pm ET

Don’t think your category can “work” on social media? Think again.

For certain categories, social media marketing is easy (or at least it’s straightforward): sports teams (fan pictures!), beer companies (full cooler at the beach party!), and TV shows (who’s YOUR favorite character?) “make sense”  on social because they are inherently fun, social categories. But what about construction supplies? Or health insurance? Or financial advisement?

It’s crucial for marketers to remember that consumers are on social media for conversations, not necessarily entertainment. A common misconception of social marketing is that its successes are extravagant, “home run” pieces of content that align with something culturally relevant, seemingly out of nowhere. The truth is successful social marketing comes from creating a “slow drip” of content a brand believes will be relevant to its audience based on listening to what they want and value. “As far as content creation is concerned, from day one brands have got to create content like they have 1,000,000 fans,” says author and social media expert Ben Blakesley. “Keep trying, because you’re going to fail a lot, but that will teach you what works and why it works. In the beginning you have very little to lose, so try everything.”

After a brand enters a social space and delivers content to engage consumers and spark conversations, it is vital to monitor these interactions and identify its “diehard” fans. Too often, brands will only respond to negative comments on social, and by ignoring the positive comments, waste valuable relationship building opportunities. While working at Vanguard, a financial service company, Blakesley noticed that “Don,” one of the firm’s clients, was interacting with the Vanguard Facebook page on a regular basis. To show its appreciation, the company sent Don a Vanguard mug, a four dollar investment in total. In return, Don wrote and posted a seven stanza poem on Facebook describing his excitement and thanking the brand. Several months later, on the day of Don’s retirement, Vanguard made its Facebook profile picture one of Don and his wife, and posted a song written in Don’s honor. For almost no money, Vanguard established an actual relationship with Don, ensuring his continued loyalty and advocacy. Furthermore, it positioned Vanguard as a brand that deeply, personally cares about its clients.

Social media success begins with listening. Instead of coming up with ways to make financial advice funny, sexy, or cool, Vanguard listened to its consumers and developed content based on what mattered most to them. Every brand has a “Don,” it’s just a matter of whether they’ve engaged him.

For more about effective social media marketing: http://www.ana.net/miccontent/show/id/s-mocmar14e2-vanguard

Catchy Jingles and Theme Songs

By Jesse Feldman, senior manager of content strategy and partnerships
Posted: Jun 26, 2014 2:00pm ET

I’ve had a lot of songs stuck in my head this week, and I put most of the blame on marketers. Presenters at recent ANA events have reminded me how much a catchy song can linger long after a commercial or film has finished. Check out some of our Marketing Knowledge Center’s most recent content… and catch an earworm or two:

(Oh, and the original Chiquita Banana Jingle is on YouTube. Enjoy!)

Jesse Feldman works in the ANA’s Marketing Knowledge Center (MKC), a rich suite of insights, case studies, event recaps, and research. You might notice her taking notes for the MKC at committee meetings, members-only conferences, or (virtually) webinars. She’ll be popping onto the ANA blog to regularly highlight some latest and greatest MKC content.

ANA at CES 2015!

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jun 11, 2014 10:51am ET

ANA and the Consumer Electronic Association are teaming up at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas.  “C Space” is a new central headquarters at CES curated for the marketing, advertising, content, and creative communities.  ANA will be developing programming specifically tailored to the C Space audience.

Attendance at CES is 150,000+ and CEA estimates that 30,000 of those are CMOs, brand professionals, content creators, and digital advertisers.  C Space will tell the story of how content, creativity, technology, CMOs, brand marketing, influencers and the consumer come together as part of the CES experience.

CES has become one of the “must attend” events for client-side marketers and ANA is thrilled to partner with the Consumer Electronics Association on this initiative.  Digital marketing is an urgent priority for our members and an ANA presence at C Space will help marketers get the most out of their CES experience.

C Space will be located at ARIA and open between January 6-9, 2015.  Mark your calendars!

What B2B Marketers Can Teach the Rest of Us!

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jun 10, 2014 11:00am ET

I recently came back from three inspiring days in Chicago, attending the BMA (Business Marketing Association) annual conference.  There were some great lessons there, and not just for B2B marketers.  Here are five that stood out to me.

Congrats to BMA for a terrific event.  And thanks to Radio & Television Business Report for publishing this blog first.

What’s New at the MKC?

By Jesse Feldman, senior manager of content strategy and partnerships
Posted: Jun 4, 2014 2:30pm ET

Notice anything different about us? We’ve made some changes to the MKC’s online content hub (found under “Insights and Research” on this site).

We’ve given one of our core knowledge products a light makeover just in time for summer: “Snapshot” content items are now listed as “Event Recaps.” Only the name has changed — we’re still bringing you easy-to-read, informative executive summaries and in-depth coverage of presentations from ANA events like committee meetings and members-only conferences.

In addition, presenters’ PowerPoint decks are now available for download directly from the event summary page. You’ll no longer be directed to a new page before you can download a presentation. This change was made with your user experience in mind. As an example, clicking “Presentation” in the right corner of the Event Recap page for our webinar “Eight Social Strategies Proven to Drive Marketing Results” will immediately open a dialogue box to download the presentation. Convenient, right?

As always, you can browse Event Recaps by key topics of interest, direct search, and through calendar agenda items. Happy reading!

Jesse Feldman works in the ANA’s Marketing Knowledge Center (MKC), a rich suite of insights, case studies, event recaps, and research. You might notice her taking notes for the MKC at committee meetings, members-only conferences, or (virtually) webinars. She’ll be popping onto the ANA blog to regularly highlight some latest and greatest MKC content.

The Case For Media Procurement

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: May 20, 2014 11:00am ET

The annual ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference just wrapped up. There were 600+ attendees and many of those were client-side marketing procurement professionals. Procurement has traditionally handled areas including contracts, RFIs/RFPs, agency evaluations, scope of work development, and supplier diversity. Agency compensation has long been a priority of marketing procurement; production has more recently become a focus.

Now, procurement needs to spend more time on media. When looking at the combination of media, production, and agency compensation, media comprises 80% of those dollars … but agency compensation and production account for 90%+ of the focus for most marketing procurement organizations.

A new trend is on the rise – media procurement – and those individuals have a laser-like focus on media. Kudos to those companies that already have media procurement. More companies now need to realize the benefit. It’s where the dollars are!

Responsibilities of media procurement include: media auditing – checking that the media a client has bought is in the right places, at competitive prices; media agency evaluations; and investigating media transparency issues. Media procurement can provide an overall company perspective and the benefit of visibility of media supplier pools across businesses to help leverage a company’s total investment.

Media procurement should ask, “Do we know what we’re getting?,” and see how and where digital advertising gets placed (e.g., frequency caps, inappropriate content, share of voice, above-the-fold) and push for greater visibility into data used to define audience targeting, especially in digital media. Media procurement should ask, “Are we getting what we paid for?,” and investigate issues such as click fraud and reliance on served versus viewable impressions.

Given the strong negotiating skills of procurement, the day will even come for some advertisers when media procurement will be at the negotiation table helping to cut deals with media suppliers.

For now, more companies need to recognize the very big value of media procurement.

Thanks to Radio & Television Business Report for first publishing this blog.

You don’t know what you don’t know: More marketers worry about media buying transparency

Posted: May 15, 2014 10:00am ET

Transparency issues between marketers and their media agencies are on the rise, per a new ANA/Forrester Research survey.

Forty-six percent of marketers have concerns about the level of transparency between themselves and their media agency(s). Further, concerns about transparency have increased for 42 percent of marketers over the past year, and have decreased for only 13 percent. 

The issues that cause the most concern are:

As stated in a previous blog, there is a transparency crisis in the advertising industry and this new research further confirms that. What are the implications for marketers?

As our industry continues to evolve, transparency issues between clients and agencies are likely to remain concerns. For example, programmatic buying—which has various intermediaries between the buyer and seller—appears to be an issue with emerging transparency concerns. Marketers would be wise to pay attention!

Thanks to The Economist for first publishing this viewpoint in their Lean Back marketing blog.

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About This Blog

Written by our in-house citizen journalists, this varied blog draws on insights from the client-side marketing community, examines game-changing campaigns and industry research, provides actionable takeaways from ANA events, and more.