By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Apr 30, 2015 2:00pm ET
ANA recently conducted parallel surveys among ANA members and agencies on issues related to the client/agency relationship, and the result is the new ANA white paper, “Enhancing Client/Agency Relationships.”
Perhaps the biggest opportunity identified in this new work centers around one of the most fundamental aspect of the client/agency relationship – assignment briefings that clients provide to agencies. Clients and agencies are not in agreement on whether clients provide clear assignment briefings to agencies. Only 27 percent of agencies believe clients do a good job (and zero percent strongly agree). However, 58 percent of clients think they perform well on briefs.
The brief is the foundation of the agency work product. Over the past year, there have been numerous conversations in ANA committee meetings regarding subpar assignment briefs being developed by clients which, in turn, lead to disappointing work from agencies. Initially, this was a bit of a surprise. The briefing process has been around forever, therefore shouldn’t best practices already be well established and in wide use? Apparently not.
Briefing may be more complicated now than ever. Media is hyper-fragmented, clients are working with multiple agencies, there is more project work, the pace of change is faster than ever, and agencies have been disintermediated to some extent (due to factors including clients using more in-house resources, production decoupling, and clients working directly with media companies).
Agencies emphatically believe that clients do not provide clear assignment briefings. Not a single agency respondent (out of 105), “strongly agreed” that clients provide clear assignment briefings to agencies! Clients must take note of this and commit to change. Bad briefs are frustrating to agencies and cost clients both time and money — for agency rework and the resulting agency fees — not to mention the opportunity costs of subpar creative in the marketplace. Both clients and agencies agree on the importance of better briefing to foster a more-productive client/agency relationship.
ANA will focus attention, going forward, on helping the advertising community improve the assignment briefing process. We’ll work with the 4A’s to strongly incorporate the agency perspective. Deliverables are to be determined but could include:
- Conducting additional research to get a more-specific understanding of what’s currently wrong with the assignment briefing process.
- Identifying clients with “best in class” briefing processes (perhaps doing that with strong input from the 4A’s) and identifying the characteristics of such briefings.
- Holding ANA committee meetings (specifically, the Agency Relations Committee) and/or School of Marketing classes that focus on assignment briefings.
- Asking 4A’s to share their learning and perhaps developing some joint ANA/4A’s guidance on assignment briefings.
“Garbage in, garbage out,” is a saying in the industry related to briefs. Bad briefs usually lead to bad work. ANA looks forward to helping to clean up the garbage.
The brief is the foundation of the agency work product. Agencies emphatically believe that clients do not provide clear assignment briefings. Not a single agency respondent (out of 105), “strongly agreed” that clients provide clear assignment briefings to agencies! Clients must take note of this and commit to change. Bad briefs are frustrating to agencies and cost clients both time and money — for agency rework and the resulting agency fees — not to mention the opportunity costs of subpar creative in the marketplace. Both clients and agencies agree on the importance of better briefing to foster a more-productive client/agency relationship.
ANA will focus attention, going forward, on helping the advertising community improve the assignment briefing process. We’ll work with the 4A’s to strongly incorporate the agency perspective.
A related “pain point” identified in the survey is the client approval process. As we move forward on our work to improve assignment briefings, we’ll also incorporate learning along the way on optimizing the client approval process.
Thanks to The Drum (the UK’s most visited marketing news website) for first publishing this perspective.
By Jesse Feldman, senior manager of content strategy and partnerships
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 11:30am ET
The ANA’s insights section is now home to all 2015 REGGIE Award-winning case studies. The REGGIE Awards recognize the best marketing campaigns for brand-building, creativity, and results. Click here to browse case studies from categories like loyalty, experiential, sponsorship, small budget, and gamification.
Here are a few of my favorite winning campaigns:
- IZZE created its own usage occasion and delicious-looking cocktail recipes to increase sales to Millennials.
- Pringles went beyond the typical March Madness bracket in a creative partnership with Walmart. (In full disclosure, I attended a Pringles-sponsored silent disco event last year, and they have my brand love forever.)
- Scott Naturals’ campaign video actually made me change an environmentally unfriendly habit which I was very guilty of doing.
This was the first year that the ANA’s content creation team (including me) worked directly with the Brand Activation Association (BAA) to copywrite and post the awards. We were sworn to secrecy until the winners were announced, and I’m happy to report there were no leaks.
By Michael Berberich, manager, marketing knowledge center
Posted: Apr 23, 2015 1:30pm ET
In my free time, I write and perform music. And like any good Millennial musician, my act has a Facebook fan page (and a Twitter handle and a SoundCloud page, and…you get it). Thanks to Facebook’s fan page algorithm, content is distributed to less than 10 percent of the fan base, so every new “like” is valuable. However, for some reason I found I only celebrated the “important” milestones, like reaching 400 fans. Why 400? That’s…a good question, actually.
My 400th fan wasn’t a record executive or a musical idol, so why did I consider it a “special” achievement? It’s a round number, of course! Look at all those zeros! The truth is, round numbers seem orderly, and are easy to remember, so we project a certain importance to them. For that same reason, we like memorable deadlines, like the first or last of the month, the Ides of March, whatever. And this is all fine, until these “important” dates interfere with the real-world needs of your brand.
I won’t name names, but recently a major global brand re-hauled the websites for several of its properties, and when they were asked if they’d do anything differently if given the chance, the project lead responded, “My team was in the office almost the entire time between Christmas and New Year’s because someone decided we needed to launch on January first, even though none of our clients would be at work to see it. I’d have fought back harder against ‘imaginary deadlines.’” Debuting on New Year’s Day sounds great on paper, and was probably very satisfying to announce at meetings, but the launch date added zero value to the project, and I’d be willing to bet it made a team full of coders and engineers a little less enthusiastic about the company they work for.
Everyone likes nice round numbers and that’s not going to change. Don’t expect to see brands celebrating their 47th Anniversary any time soon. However, it’s important for business leaders (and everyone, frankly) to remember that their importance is very much “imaginary,” and shouldn’t be put before the real-world need of your brand or your employees.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Apr 23, 2015 10:00am ET
In first quarter 2015, ANA conducted parallel surveys among ANA members and agencies on issues related to the client/agency relationship, resulting in the white paper, “Enhancing Client/Agency Relationships.”
First, the good news on client/agency relationships. Both clients and agencies agree that:
- Their client/agency relationships are strong
- A long-term client/agency relationship is important
- They trust the other
Further, both clients and agencies agree that the agency is a valued business partner, plays an important role in the client’s business strategy, and is influential in driving business results.
However, there are pockets of dissatisfaction.
- Clients and agencies are not in alignment on the fairness of their compensation arrangements. Agencies have much lower levels of agreement that compensation agreements are fair. Both clients and agencies are lukewarm on the value of performance-based compensation as a motivator of agency performance.
- Clients and agencies are not in agreement on whether clients provide clear assignment briefings to agencies. Only 27 percent of agencies believe clients do a good job (and zero percent strongly agree). However, 58 percent of clients think they perform well on briefs.
- Clients and agencies are not in agreement that the client approval process works well. Only 36 percent of agencies are in agreement (and only 2 percent strongly agree) versus 54 percent of clients.
- Clients and agencies have different views on the value procurement adds to client/agency relationships. Only 47 percent of clients agree that procurement adds value, while just 10 percent of agencies agree.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Apr 16, 2015 12:30pm ET
There’s no doubt for anyone in the advertising community that native advertising is hot. Since the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) released the results from its Advertising is Going Native study earlier this year the topic has continued to receive heavy coverage in the industry trades. But despite its increasing popularity, measurement of native advertising has remained a challenge which could hamper further growth.
In the ANA white paper, we asked marketers to identify the metrics they use to measure the impact of their native advertising. The responses were diverse as click-throughs, social media sharing, awareness, and time spent were all employed by at least half the respondents.
When asked to identify the “primary metric” (just one), responses were incredibly fragmented as no metric received more than 17 percent of the responses. That metric was brand lift, followed by click throughs and social media sharing.
No metric stands out as “most important.” Perhaps more concerning is that 26 percent of those engaged in native advertising did not even answer this question, which suggests knowledge gaps on native advertising measurement.
The industry would benefit from a deeper understanding of the metrics that matter most for native. Marketers should fold some measurement component into every native advertising campaign. The closer that a metric can get to a sale, the better. Time spent is good, but awareness is better; brand lift is better than awareness; lead generation is better than brand lift; purchase intent is better than lead generation; and finally, customer acquisition and sales are even better! It would be interesting to see the results of a direct response campaign executed via native advertising.
Meanwhile, publishers are leading the push into native advertising, given the business development potential it represents. Since the average publisher runs many more native advertising campaigns than the average marker, publishers are encouraged to make measurement a priority and help provide measurement insights and best practices with their advertiser and agency partners. It’s unlikely that a single measurement standard will develop for native advertising, given the different goals and priorities of advertisers. Nonetheless, the industry is encouraged to share learning in order to maximize the effectiveness of native and continue the growth trajectory.
Thanks to the Economist for first publishing this perspective in their Lean back marketing blog.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Mar 25, 2015 1:30pm ET
I spent a few days in Austin at the 4A’s Transformation conference. Some event highlights follow.
Mobile now accounts for 50 percent of all time spent on screens. Jeff Jenkins of Taco Bell called mobile, “The biggest revolution in fast food since the drive through.”
“Purchasing can be a source of good value. Bring it on,” from Dominic Proctor, GroupM Global.
Tim Armstrong of AOL said that, “Client confusion in the next 20 years will dramatically go up. 4% of media is programmatic; 4% of video viewing is via mobile phones; 4% of the world’s population lives in the U.S.”
“Television is still vital with $370 billion in ad and subscription revenue; 3.8 hours a day viewing per person. Plus, 100% of television is viewable.” This from John Montgomery, GroupM Interaction USA and Chairman of the 4A’s Media Leadership Council.
My favorite moment of the entire conference was when Lisa Granatstein, editor of Adweek asked her panel, “What will the ad industry will be talking about a year from now?”
- John Butler, BSSPA: “We’ll be talking about project work versus AOR and the staffing implications of the shift to project work. Agencies might be staffing more like production companies with more freelance versus permanent staff.”
- Mike Sheldon, Deutsch: “More bundling – doing more together and bringing agency and client side-by-side again. We have lost a lot as an industry because clients have 15 different vendors who don’t know one another. Specialization can be done under one roof.”
- Susan Credle, Leo Burnett: “The production of work – given the fact that technology is moving so quickly, how do we continue to make things? How much can we do in house, versus outsource? Both cost and expertise are considerations.”
- Sally Kennedy, Publicis Hawkeye: “ Storytelling -- I hope we are celebrating our story telling and our craft as an industry. Given automation and programmatic buying, there will be a renewed emphasis on story telling.”
Finally, Nancy Hill of 4A's talked about the importance of trust in the client/agency relationship. She said, “Without trust, we can’t move together.”
By Andrew Eitelbach, senior manager of marketing and communications
Posted: Mar 19, 2015 10:30am ET
Who’d want to hack your grandmother? A number of people, actually. She may not be a heavy online shopper or even email much beyond the occasional FW, but with the right malware running on her computer, it and a few million other infected computers can mean serious money for fraudsters. Operating in the background, where she won’t notice, a malicious piece of software is running, pretending to be a human by surfing the web and clicking on ads, inflating click-rates and costing marketers billions. The scam is real, it’s pervasive, and it’s just one of the many dangers that await marketers in the digital space.
Scared? Read this month’s cover story in ANA magazine to see what the dangers are, and how the industry is fighting back. The ANA, along with other major organizations, is leading the charge.
- The one surefire thing marketers can do to be more competitive, more effective, and better prepared for a rapidly changing industry. A case for training.
- The Apple Watch is coming, but where is the wearables trend going? We break down the numbers.
- Quick stories on an Old Spice vending machine, consumer reaction to product waste, video of the NBA’s Saskia Sorrosa, what Nestlé is doing with its chocolate, and more. Stats and stories to make you smarter.
Don’t miss this month’s special section, from our partner the United States Postal Service, on direct mail, big data, and omnichannel marketing.
Give us your thoughts on the publication. Contact the editor, Andrew Eitelbach
PLUS: Every issue includes a number of opportunities to share content online; click the Twitter birds scattered through the issue and you’ll find pre-written tweets to make sharing with your followers even easier. Just like this.
Take a look and let us know what you think. You can leave a comment on this blog post, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to get your feedback.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 27, 2015 2:00pm ET
As February mercifully draws to a close (the weather!), it allows me to reflect back on my favorite memory from the month – the ANA Brand Masters Conference in Laguna Niguel. CA! Here are some select highlights that I took away.
- Rob Master from Unilever: Change will never be this slow again. (And thanks to Rob for emceeing the event.)
- Kathy O’Brien, Unilever: Put people first. Not “consumers.” Not “shoppers.” But “people.”
- Marc Strachan, Diageo: “I want my agencies to make my palms sweat and get me nervous.”
- Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo: There will twenty-five (25) “minority-majority” cities in the U.S. by 2043. To drive a total market outcome, it’s critically important to bring insights from ethnic segments in at the beginning of the process, rather than the end.
- Linda McGovern, USG: The power of branding is critical … even for b-to-b brands and companies.
- Joanna Seddon, OgilvyRED and Maria Chacon, DuPoint: Brands that can demonstrate the financial value they create are able to elevate their seat at the table in the corporate board room. Brand value analysis can link brand and marketing to real money!
It was a great event and I love seeing palm trees in the winter (even with a “marine layer” of fog)!
By Urey Onuoha, copywriter, ANA
Posted: Feb 27, 2015 11:00am ET
Ahead of last year’s Super Bowl, Duracell released an ad about the power of resilience, featuring Seattle Seahawks fullback, Derrick Coleman. Part of the “Trust Your Power” campaign, the ad was well-received and its popularity only grew as the Seahawks went on to win every game and eventually, the Super Bowl title. Last November, the ad also won big at the 2014 Multicultural Excellence Awards.
But, how was it brought to life?
In a special issue of ANA magazine, we explore the stories behind this and other innovative campaigns that received recognition in one of the ANA’s award programs. In addition to Duracell, we share a behind-the-scenes look at Honey Maid’s “This Is Wholesome,” explain why “Muttbombing” from Dallas Pets Alive! was successful, and show how C Spire nabbed the 2014 Marketing Leadership Analytics Award.
We also celebrate the ANA marketers who showed exceptional skills and talents in their respective positions. In “Top of the Class,” find out why the recipients of the 2014 Rising Marketing Stars Awards deserve this recognition.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 24, 2015 10:00am ET
If you work in the marketing/advertising industry you have surely seen some of the headlines:
- In Ad Age: Forbes Puts Native Ad for Fidelity on Its (Actual) Cover
- In MediaPost: Forbes Puts Native Ad On Cover
What’s the big deal?
This “native ad” is a small 1½ inch by 5/8 inch black box that says, “FidelityVoice: Revving Up Your Retirement.” Inside the magazine, there is a two page spread called, “Brand Voice By Fidelity” with the headline, “Are You On Track For The Retirement You Want? That is the real native advertising! Plus, Fidelity has two full page ads opposite the table of contents. I think this is a smart, integrated package — kudos to Fidelity and Forbes.
It’s a new media world out there. The guidelines that applied earlier in our careers to ad placement best practices have changed. Print media has especially come under assault. Publishers – and the advertisers that rely on them – must adapt or die.
People are talking (and debating) about what Forbes and Fidelity have done. And that’s a good thing. We don’t all need to agree. Congrats to innovators like Forbes and Fidelity who are sparking a dialogue in the industry.
ANA recently published Advertising is Going Native, which features some great insights on how marketers are using native advertising.