Marketing Maestros

Misadventures in Pricing from My Preferred Airline

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Mar 25, 2014 10:00am ET

It must be tough to work in the airline industry. Everyone’s a critic – sometimes justified and sometimes not. Consider an experience I just had when trying to change my travel plans for an upcoming flight.

My roundtrip ticket from New York to Chicago cost $376. I now have to stay in Chicago for an additional evening and need to change my departure time from 7pm to 7am the next day. The cost for that change is $200. That’s more than half the cost of the original fare, which doesn’t seem right.  Plus, this is my preferred airline and I am a “silver” member in their loyalty program.

It gets worse. The cost for a one way ticket from Chicago to New York is $188. How can the “penalty” for changing my flight plans possibly cost more than a new ticket? And wouldn’t the airline rather me not buy that new ticket to prevent having two reservations in their system (including one I wouldn’t use)?

I don’t mind paying a fair and reasonable fee to change my ticket – but this is ridiculous. We hear so much at ANA about brands “putting the customer at the center” and airlines (at least this one) would be smart to do the same.

Beacons, Millennials, and a Free Lunch

By Jesse Feldman, senior manager of content strategy and partnerships
Posted: Mar 19, 2014 12:30pm ET

You’re missing out* if you’re not taking advantage of your ANA membership by attending committee meetings. But that’s why I’m with the MKC: to provide snapshot summaries of meeting events. And last month had some seriously excellent committee meetings:

At the Mobile Marketing Committee, presenters were all about beacons. Denée Carrington, senior analyst at Forrester Research, even declared “beacon” the first buzzword of 2014. Carrington also shared five things marketers should do right now to prepare for the digital wallet trend. Check out her presentation to learn more about what’s next for digital wallets, m-commerce, and omnichannel wallets. (And, yes, we did discuss Bitcoin in the Q&A.)

Also at the Mobile Marketing meeting, Gayle Meyers, founder and managing partner of Digital Media Review’s Industry Index, took a deep dive into the technologies powering the latest mobile advertising revolution: location intelligence. Can you guess what year half of all ad spend will be location-targeted? It’s sooner than I’d expected. (But you have to click to find out.) Meyers also shared five questions to ask to find out if the location data you’re buying is being pulled the right way. The presentation finished off with a quick roundup of new, innovative startups that marketers should pay close attention to now.

I also attended the most recent Multicultural Marketing and Diversity meeting, held at NBA HQ (where the clocks are shot clocks and the floors by the elevators look like courts!). Tru Pettigrew, founder and CEO of Tru Access, had the full house singing and laughing with an exercise on culturational chemistry. Pettigrew coined the term “culturational chemistry” after realizing the internal and external business benefits of cultural and generational inclusion. Looking for ways to bridge the generation and culture gap with Millennials? This presentation offered five steps for both marketers and employers.

*Specifically, you’re missing out on knowledge-sharing, networking, great roundtables, and snacks.

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.

TV Spots Need a Ratings System – True Ten Years Ago & Today!

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Mar 12, 2014 11:30am ET

Ten years ago – on March 15, 2004 – Advertising Age published an editorial titled, “TV spots need a ratings system.” That editorial said:

ANA has been speaking out on this issue for a decade now. Companies including Kantar Media, Rentrak, and TRA have introduced products that provide commercial ratings. But there is still so much more to do, and we continue to wait for Nielsen to deliver an appropriate solution. Nielsen’s C3 was progress – but that provides ratings for the average of all the commercials within a program and not ratings for individual commercials. Why settle for “averages” when you can have “specifics?”

Ratings for individual commercials would provide more granular data to help marketers make better decisions.

Many things have indeed changed in our industry over the past ten years. There is a greater focus on data and ROI. Procurement is closely examining all costs. Marketing expenditures now must be even more accountable. It seems to me that the potential value of commercial ratings is greater now than ever been before. ANA encourages the industry – particularly the research and media companies – to heed the ongoing and persistent requests from marketers and deliver brand-specific commercial ratings.

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, senior manager of content strategy and partnerships
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.

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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.