Marketing Maestros

Cycle For Survival – What An Amazing Ride!

By Marni Gordon, vice president of committees and conferences, ANA
Posted: Mar 7, 2014 11:30am ET

On March 1, the morning after returning from the ANA Brand Masters Conference, I participated in my second Cycle for Survival ride at Equinox in Roslyn, N.Y.! Even though I was exhausted from working at the conference and had to arrive by 7:15 a.m, it was well worth the experience! I was on the “SpinCycles” team and we raised over $16,000!

Cycle for Survival is a series of high-energy indoor team cycling events that provides a tangible way to beat rare cancers.100% of all funds raised go directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and are allocated within six months of each event. 

Equinox is the founding partner of Cycle for Survival and did a fantastic job promoting this great cause – especially through social media. As a marketer, I couldn’t help but notice the great Cycle for Survival/Equinox branding which included signage, balloons, T-shirts, drawstring bags, headbands, and more. There was also a food and beverage area where brands like Chobani, KIND, and Smartwater distributed free products to all of the hungry and thirsty riders.

I am very excited to hear Carlos Becil, senior vice president of marketing at Equinox speak at the 2014 ANA Digital & Social Media Conference, presented by Meredith, July 13-15 in Dana Point, Calif.! Carlos is going to talk about the innovative ways Equinox leverages social media to build their brand and support the Cycle for Survival cause. I look forward to seeing you there!

Key themes from 2014 ANA Brand Masters Conference

By Marni Gordon, vice president of committees and conferences, ANA
Posted: Mar 6, 2014 2:30pm ET

ANA is well known for its fall “Masters of Marketing” Conference - which features terrific content and prominent speakers, including many leading CMOs and other marketing thought leaders. This year we held our second annual ANA Brand Masters Conference which was a late winter/early spring companion to the Masters of Marketing. This event was SOLD OUT for the second year in a row and over 450 people were in attendance.

Some of the key themes heard at the conference were:

The 2015 ANA Brand Masters Conference will be February 4-6th at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif.! Mark your calendars now and I look forward to seeing you there!

What is “Total Market”?

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Mar 6, 2014 10:00am ET

There’s been a lot of buzz in the marketing/advertising industry about “total market.” But what does that mean? At a recent ANA meeting with a group of multicultural marketing thought leaders, here’s what we heard from client-side attendees:

Have You Tweeted Any Brands Today?

By Jesse Feldman, manager, marketing knowledge center
Posted: Feb 25, 2014 3:30pm ET

Every single person at last month’s ANA social media committee meeting raised a hand when asked, “Have you ever experienced a customer service issue on a social channel?”

Social media has absolutely become a #custserv channel for brands. I am only mildly reluctant to admit that I tweet companies all the time. Here’s just a few recent examples from my hyperactive Twitter timeline: store unexpectedly closed? Tweet. Train delay? Tweet. Wondering if a store offers gift certificates? Tweet. Receiving a response back from companies on social, even if it’s just an acknowledgement, feels good. Of those three examples, with companies ranging from national brands to local shops, I got three official responses back!

Social media committee meeting presenter Ben Blakesley, author of Get Social, provided valuable best practices for having better customer service interactions online. During the Q&A session, members discussed how their companies approach negative comments posted to a corporate social channel: to remove or not to remove, that is the question. (No spoilers: To find out the presenter’s recommendation, you’ll have to read the summary).

Also at the social media committee meeting, MasterCard shared a case study from its fully integrated Stand Up to Cancer program. The campaign invites consumers to Dig In & Do Good by using a MasterCard to dine out. Each year, MasterCard’s marketing team is tasked with adding new digital and social innovations. Find out how the 2013 campaign selected and leveraged social influencers in the Q&A section.

In late January, Capital One hosted an ANA members-only conference in Richmond where the company shared real-time success story case studies. Capital One has leveraged a social media command center, on-site activations, influencer content, and real-time media buys as part of a digital brand strategy. I was impressed by the beautiful content that came out of Capital One’s innovative creative partnership with Tumblr (view here).

Presenters from Lucy Activewear, the U.S. Marines, and WellPoint also shared insights and case studies during our Richmond members-only conference. Lucy activated a custom-made, perfect-for-Instagram interactive running path experience on Boston’s waterfront. The women’s athletic wear company and its agency designed and produced 10,000 custom lights for the project.

Read all of the above and more in the “Insights and Research” section of the ANA site!

Jesse Feldman works in the ANA’s Marketing Knowledge Center (MKC), a rich suite of insights, case studies, presentations, 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.

Branding Insights from College Road Trips

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 24, 2014 10:00am ET

I’ve been on a number of college visits recently, as I have triplet daughters who are now juniors in high school.  These visits have provided some insights relevant to brand marketers.

First off, after visiting a few schools, everything starts to bleed together. All the schools have a low student/teacher ratio. They all take security seriously and have a “blue light” system. They all claim diversity – and all have literature, of course, with that diverse group of students on a grassy quad under a tree. Blah, blah, blah. Few stand out.

One school that did stand out was NYU. From the very beginning of the admissions presentation, NYU presented itself as, “The Global Network University.” NYU has campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi – where students can attend for all four years. Alternatively, students who enroll in the New York City campus have the opportunity to spend a year or semester abroad.  Yes, lots of schools have semester abroad programs.  But NYU did a great job in differentiating itself in a cluttered and competitive category.  Marketers please take note – especially those in financial services and automotive.

Another insight has to do with the importance of employees as brand ambassadors.  Whether it’s the call center operator, the store clerk, or the hotel chamber maid, employees are often the face of the brand to consumers. During the college tours, the brand ambassadors were (a) the admissions office rep giving the hour information session presentation in an auditorium and (b) the student leading the campus tour.  More than almost any other factor, my kids formed opinions of schools based on these interactions.  We still joke about the student tour leader who began by saying, “I have class in an hour, so we need to be done by then.” That made us all feel unimportant to the student and that school. Marketers (and colleges) need to understand that every touch point is a branding opportunity … or missed opportunity.

Interestingly, some schools are realizing the importance of branding.  Northwestern University recently named Mary Baglivo vice president for global marketing and chief marketing officer. Previously, Mary was Chairman and CEO, Americas, for Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide.

I look forward to additional branding insights this coming week, this time from practitioners, at the ANA Brand Masters Conference.

Advertising’s Transparency Crisis

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 21, 2014 10:00am ET

Marketers, agencies, and media sellers need a trusted environment to build successful and enduring partnerships. But lately there have been increasing concerns about the issue of media and media agency transparency—i.e., sellers and agencies providing honesty and clarity to marketers on costs, placements, and data.

What began as a whisper a few years ago has increased dramatically in intensity.  It’s not an overstatement to say that ANA has heard more concerns about media transparency in the past year than at any other point in memory. The industry is facing a transparency crisis.

There are various issues that have contributed to this transparency crisis, including:

This transparency crisis is global. The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) recently asked its members to rate a number of “priorities” of interest to marketing procurement professionals. From a list of twenty options, “cost transparency: understanding kickbacks, pass throughs, and rebates” ranked second (surpassed only by agency compensation).

Our business has historically been built on trust and relationships. But this transparency crisis is causing trust to break down and ultimately that will affect the relationships marketers have with their agencies and the media.

Marketers need to be inquisitive and ask questions. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Thanks to The Economist Group for first publishing this perspective in their Lean back marketing blog.

For Commercial Ratings – Specific is Better than Average

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 13, 2014 10:30am ET

Both Kantar Media and Rentrak conducted analyses that provide individual ratings of the Super Bowl commercials. Kantar Media’s commercial tuning index (CTI) compares each commercial rating to the game average to produce an index indicating its relative value. Rentrak's Ad Retention Index looks at the second-by-second viewing average for commercials compared to the entire program.

According to both Kantar Media and Rentrak, the most-watched ads each had a 104 index compared to the average ratings of the entire game.  The least watched ads had an index of 91, according to Rentrak and “less than 95” per Kantar.  For the Super Bowl, the commercial rating depends a great part on where in the program it airs. The gap between a 91 and 104 index is indeed big and shows the value of specific commercial ratings versus average commercial ratings.

ANA continues to advocate for increased granularity of commercial ratings, and notably for brand-specific commercial ratings. We’ve conducted surveys (82 percent of members expressed interest – a landslide!), written white papers, and convened industry meetings. Last year, both Kantar Media and Rentrak participated in the ANA Commercial Ratings Summit to discuss solutions that could help facilitate the availability of brand-specific commercial ratings for television.  An output of the summit was the paper, “Brand-Specific Commercial Ratings: Benefits and Solution Providers."

Thanks to Kantar Media and Rentrak for continuing the conversation and showcasing the value of brand-specific commercial ratings.

And thanks to Radio & Television Business Report for initially publishing this blog.

Technologies from CES to Improve TV Audience Measurement

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 5, 2014 11:00am ET

After this perspective was initially published in Radio & Television Business Report, a senior industry media executive (in fact, a division president), sent me an email that said, “ …while some of that stuff your reference is scary it is all going to happen. if it can be done, it will be done...good stuff.”  Please read on …

I attended CES recently with 150,000+ others including an estimated 10,000 marketing and advertising execs. There were a number of technologies on display at the show that could have applications to improve TV audience measurement.

ANA has been advocating the idea of “brand-specific commercial ratings” for some time now. That is, the ability to measure the ratings of specific commercials. The current industry standard provides ratings for the average of all the commercials within a program. Why settle for “averages” when you can have “specifics?”

Commercial ratings would provide more granular data to better inform the decision-making process.

ANA encourages the TV audience measurement companies to investigate the technologies from CES in order to improve TV audience measurement.

ANA Connection at Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 3, 2014 12:00pm ET
Francisca Brown giving opening welcome.

ANA members American Family Insurance and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital were both front and center at the recent Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.

American Family Insurance was a supporter of the event for the fourth consecutive year. Francisca Brown, multicultural marketing manager and an active member of the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Committee, gave the opening welcome.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is a spokesperson for American Family.  Myles Romero, advertising director at American Family, was quoted as saying that Wilson, “… really personifies what American Family stands for, in terms of the pursuit and achievement of dreams.” An ad with Russell Wilson, part of American Family’s long-running American Dreams campaign, ran in local markets on Super Bowl Sunday.  At the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration Mr. Romero had the honor of introducing the NFL Players Choir.

Myles Romero introducing the NFL Players Choir.

Super Bowl Gospel Celebration also served as a fundraiser with a portion of the proceeds benefiting national and local charities. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was the primary charitable beneficiary this year. ANA helped connect St. Jude and the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at the 2012 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference.

Congrats to ANA members American Family Insurance and St. Jude.




Farewell to 4A's TV Production Cost Survey

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 29, 2014 10:00am ET

In a sign of the times, the 4A's just recently announced that they will no longer publish their "Television Production Cost Survey." The survey originated in 1987 and the last published report represented the twenty-fifth year of this continuing project.

For those twenty-five years, the report provided the industry with a method of benchmarking the industry average cost of producing television commercials, providing data including:  

    Average Cost
:30 Commercial
  2011 $354,000
  2010 $324,000
  2009 $323,000
  2008 $342,000
  2007 $361,000
  2006 $335,000
  2005 $381,000
  2004 $385,000
  2003 $372,000
  2002 $358,000
  2001 $358,000

According to the last published report – the 2011 Television Production Cost Survey – the average cost of a 30-second commercial was $354,000.

But today's super-fragmented, content-demanding media environment has made the report obsolete. Who shoots just a 30-second commercial (alone) anymore? And what is a "commercial" anyway?

Content is king and marketers are producing all sorts of video content. For web sites, for online video, for digital place-based advertising, and, of course, television. The traditional 30-second commercial was largely a one-time event for most marketers. But today, many marketers are producing episodic videos, that is, a series, and distributing them on various platforms – paid, owned, and earned. And marketers and their agency partners have gotten smarter over the years and learned to produce video content more efficiently. It's interesting that the average cost of a 30-second commercial in 2011 was actually lower than it was in 2001! See the adjacent chart, from the 4A's reports over the years.

So farewell to the 4A's Television Production Cost Survey. But it's a new era.

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

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About This Blog

To complement our two leadership blogs and build dialogue on the seismic changes happening in marketing, we launched Marketing Maestros. Our in-house citizen journalists will talk about everything from marketing technology to accountability and everything in between. This blog is written for marketers by ANA's marketers whose insights are drawn from the voices of the client side marketing community.