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Marketing Maestros

Elevating the Role of Marketing Procurement with Procurement Leaders

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 23, 2013 9:25am ET

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Procurement Leaders conference in Boston and present a session, titled “Elevating the Role of Marketing Procurement” with Sal Vitale.  Sal is category leader, media procurement at Johnson & Johnson and the co-chair of the ANA Procurement Task Force.  The three key takeaways from our session are highlighted below.

Takeaway #1: Marketing is an investment to be maximized and not an expense to be minimized. 

Takeaway #2: Marketing procurement must evolve from a tactical role (cost reduction) to a more strategic one.  

Takeaway #3: Procurement needs to more closely align their measures of success with marketing colleagues.

The white paper, “Elevating the Role of Marketing Procurement,” upon which this presentation was based, can be found here: www.ana.net/elevatingprocurement.

ANA “Procurement Day” is October 22 in Chicago hosted by BP, This is a complimentary event for ANA members and other interested client-side marketers and details are here: www.ana.net/membersconference/show/id/MOC-OCT13C.

The Insights Behind Valspar’s Growth

By Ken Beaulieu, senior director of marketing and communications, ANA
Posted: Sep 23, 2013 8:00am ET

For more than 200 years, Valspar was a private label manufacturer of high-quality paint and coatings for Lowe’s and other independent retailers. But in 2007, Valspar made the bold decision to create a consumer-facing brand of paint to help its retail partners drive more growth and the company “better control its own destiny.” It not only called for product and marketing innovations, but also for a creative brand strategy that would distinguish Valspar in the do-it-yourself (DIY) segment.

Much like a fresh coat of paint, the plan has breathed new life into the global company. Valspar is now the number two brand of DIY paint in the U.S. — and the company has its sights set on becoming number one.

John Anton served as Valspar’s vice president of marketing for much of the transformation before being named vice president and general manager of the Ace business unit earlier this year. In a recent interview with me, he explained the insights that were of paramount importance to driving meaningful growth.

“As a coatings company with a heavy focus on the DIY segment, we would like for people to paint more frequently,” he said. “Consumer research tells us there are two key reasons why people don’t do this more often: first, it’s a lot of work to paint a room, and second, people lack color confidence. Over the past few years, our competitors have focused on trying to solve the first problem by launching products like paint and primer in one, intended to make the painting project less cumbersome. While we have also launched paint-and-primer offerings, we knew that the bigger opportunity was to solve the second pain point — how to instill more color confidence in the minds of DIYers. That is what led us to launch the Valspar Love Your Color Guarantee in 2012. Valspar is the only brand in the industry to guarantee consumers that they will love their paint color, even after it has been put up on the wall. If a consumer isn’t absolutely thrilled with the initial color of Valspar paint, they simply purchase another Valspar color and we reimburse them for the cost of their first color. This is now a core part of the Valspar brand promise, as it serves as a tangible proof point of our unique ability to give consumers color confidence.

“Instilling color confidence throughout the paint journey is also why digital is such an important tool for us,” Anton continued. “Consumers are seeking color inspiration from a variety of sources, including magazines, websites, Pinterest, Facebook, blogs, etc. As a brand, we have a presence in all these channels/outlets, but we also go further. We are the only brand to offer a free color consultation, through our new Valspar Color Connect App. We utilize Facetime technology to allow consumers, from the comfort of their own homes, to have a virtual color consultation with one of our trained color designers. Using the dual-camera technology of smart phones, consumers can show our Valspar color consultants the room they want to paint, allowing our designers to see their furniture and style aesthetic. Our consultants then drag and drop color chips of recommended colors, which get super-imposed over the existing wall to give consumers a virtual feel of what the new room will look like. This virtual consultation ends with our consultant sending an email to the consumer with all the information about the colors they discussed, along with closest retailer location, thereby providing consumers the color confidence they are missing today.” 

Anton will share Valspar’s remarkable story at the 2013 ANA Masters of Marketing Annual Conference, October 3-6 in Phoenix, Ariz. If you’re not attending the event in person, be sure to catch the live stream on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Marketing in a Real-Time World: Key Insights from 360i Marketing Summit 2013

By Marni Gordon, vice president of committees and conferences, ANA
Posted: Sep 20, 2013 12:00am ET

I attended the “360i Marketing Summit 2013” this week in NYC.  360i brought their clients and partners together to learn from each other on topics related to the key theme of the event:  “Navigating Disruption:  From Big Data to Big Ideas”.  My favorite session was a panel moderated by Sarah Hofstetter, President of 360i on “Marketing in a Real-Time World”.  Marketers from Ben & Jerry’s, Mondelez International (Oreo), and USA Network participated on the panel and shared great insights on how to balance brand authenticity with cultural relevance in a real-time world.  Some of the key lessons learned to success in real-time marketing were:

ANA’s first-ever Real-Time Marketing Conference presented by Starcom is December 4th in NYC!  Learn from Kraft Foods Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Hasbro, Anheuser-Busch, MINI, MasterCard Worldwide, Nestle and more!!!  I look forward to seeing you there!

Procurement & In-House Agencies

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 19, 2013 10:55am ET

Marketing procurement should be aware (keenly aware) of the value and benefits of in-house agencies.  In-house agencies offer key benefits, per the recent ANA report “The Rise of the In-House Agency.”

The current marketing environment, with its increasing emphasis on productivity, speed, and cost-effectiveness, lends itself well to in-house agencies.

Our research indicates that procurement currently has some influence in moving business from an established agency to an in-house agency. Among those companies that have a marketing procurement department, 45 percent say procurement is somewhat or more influential in deciding to move business in-house.  This influence is likely to grow.  Just as production decoupling and media auditing burst on the scene a few years ago and became strategic drivers of value for procurement, in-house agencies can also provide substantial value.  Marketing procurement should take notice!

Takeaways from the Multicultural Excellence Awards Judging

By Yasmin Melendez, director of committees and conferences, ANA
Posted: Sep 18, 2013 9:33am ET

Last week, 15 ANA members from a variety of industries including financial services, QSR, CPG, health care, spirits and telecommunications gathered at ANA headquarters to review over 185 entries submitted for the Multicultural Excellence Awards.  Now in its 13th year, these awards recognize marketers and their agencies or media company for their outstanding work in advertising to African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and LGBT audiences.

Over the course of two days, judges evaluated 370 pieces of creative and discussed and sometimes debated the cultural insights used to target multicultural segments in a variety of mediums. The predominant sentiment was that although the discipline has made great strides, there's still a lot of work to be done. Here are some of the takeaways I took from the experience:

Disintermediation of Traditional Agencies

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 13, 2013 3:33pm ET

Dictionary.com defines disintermediate as: “to attempt to do away with intermediary entities between two primary market forces; to eliminate the middleman.” ANA has released a new report, “The Rise of the In-House Agency,” and traditional ad agencies need to take notice of the findings, or risk disintermediation.

The current marketing environment, with its increasing emphasis on productivity, speed, and cost-effectiveness, lends itself well to in-house agencies. Furthermore, the increased use of newer media (digital, social, mobile) puts a premium on turnaround time/speed, accelerating the expansion and importance of in-house agencies.

In-house agencies are rising to play bigger, more sophisticated, and strategic roles. External agencies are being disintermediated to some degree by in-house agencies. A majority of respondents in our research say that they have not only moved established business that used to be handled by an external agency to their in-house agency, but have also assigned newer functions, like digital/social/mobile, to their in-house agency. Such disintermediation has already happened in production, as more marketers decouple production from their creative agencies. There will be even greater disintermediation if the penetration and stature of in-house agencies continues to grow.

External agencies need to take notice, as the growth of in-house agencies may indeed be a warning sign that marketers are questioning the role of traditional shops. As the traditional agency marketplace continues to evolve, such agencies must reassess and redefine the value proposition they provide to clients. The rise of in-house agencies has great benefits to client-side marketers, and agencies must now give more consideration to how this affects them.

New Industry Association:
Cross-Cultural Marketing & Communications Association

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 10, 2013 10:02am ET

I attended the opening day of the “The Total Market Conference” from the Cross-Cultural Marketing & Communications Association on Monday in NYC.  According to the CCM&CA, the total market is the description of a business vertical emerging within the marketing and communications industry; it describes the converging “general market” and multicultural business verticals.  The purpose of the association is to provide total market enterprise and cross-cultural marketplace awareness, education and certification across business, governments and education verticals.  Lots of rich information was shared and a half dozen key takeaways for me follow:

The Rise of the In-House Agency

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 5, 2013 10:02am ET

ANA has released a new report, “The Rise of the In-House Agency,” and the findings are most interesting.  Highlights:

The penetration of in-house agencies has increased 16 percentage points, to 58 percent, from our last survey in 2008. Also, there has been an increase in the number of employees on staff at in-house agencies.  

 The services handled by in-house agencies are varied.

In-house offer key advantages and appear to be growing in stature:

Traditional agencies are being disintermediated to some degree by in-house agencies. A majority of survey respondents say that:

The full report is available onthe ANA website.

In-House Agencies Grow in Importance

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Aug 30, 2013 10:03am ET

Over the last few months ANA has been surveying our members to better understand the penetration and use of in-house agencies.  We will officially release that research on September 4 and have a webinar scheduled for that day.  The findings are most interesting!

We define an in-house agency as “a department, group, or person that has responsibilities typically performed by an external advertising or other marcomm agency.” Note that an internal PR function is not part of our definition of an in-house agency. 

Many ANA members have in-house agencies and a dozen examples are: Adobe, AFLAC, Blue Shield of California, Combe, Dell, Fidelity, IBM, Kraft, Marriott, True Value, Wells Fargo, and Wendy’s. 

Traditionally, marketers have used in-house agencies for cost savings and quicker turnaround times, and those are still valid reasons for having an in-house agency.  Our survey shows that the penetration and stature of in-house agencies is rising. This increase is, in part, a reflection of the economic environment in which corporations have reduced budgets and are being challenged to do more with less. Moving the agency in-house — or increasing the role of an existing in-house agency — can help reduce costs.  The growth of digital/social/mobile and the need for quicker turnaround for those media has also played a role in the increased penetration and responsibilities of in-house agencies.

“Fast, cheap, good — pick two!”  Most every marketer and agency exec has heard that quote. For years, in-house agencies were known as being fast and cheap, but not necessarily good. Now, many are good — in fact, very good – and are providing critical strategic services.

This new research provides insights into the services that in-house agencies handle, the degree to which external agencies are displaced by in-house agencies, the advantages and disadvantages of in-house agencies, the internal costs to the company of employing in-house agencies, and more. In-house agencies are indeed rising and are now more important than ever!  We’ll share more in upcoming blogs following the release of the research report.

Commercial Loads are Getting Out of Control

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Aug 20, 2013 10:02am ET

I just came across two great articles related to commercial loads.

Al Jazeera America, which launches today (August 20), announced that it will have only six minutes of commercials each hour. This low ad ratio is "one of our key competitive advantages," according to their CEO.

Meanwhile, I came across a blog titled Get Stronger While Watching TV, where the author wrote, “While on vacation, we were watching the Godfather on AMC. I was feeling a little antsy, so I decided to do some push-ups during the commercials. The commercial breaks were pretty long, so I did between 25 and 50 reps on each break. By the end of the movie, I had hit 500!”

The commercial loads on many cable networks in particular have really gotten out of control.  Long commercial breaks diminish the effectiveness of an advertiser’s message. Viewers can’t help but tune out of advertising when there is a relentless parade of commercials. And advertisers with spots in the middle of the pod likely are over paying as rates are based on average commercial viewership rather than brand-specific commercial ratings. Prolonged commercial breaks are not in the best interest of advertisers!

Al Jazeera America has the right idea and more networks are encouraged to better manage their commercial loads. 


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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.