Marketing Maestros

The Programmatic Black Box

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Aug 19, 2015 9:00am ET

Programmatic buying — defined by AdExchanger as “the automation of media buying and selling processes and decisions, enhanced through data” — has great promise. Benefits include efficiency (lower CPMs, faster processing speed), targeting, effectiveness, scalability, and ROI. Programmatic media is the new reality, is big, and is getting bigger. Programmatic has expanded beyond desktop digital display to mobile, video, television, radio, out-of-home, digital place-based media, and print.

However, there are transparency issues with programmatic. The supply chain between the advertiser and the publisher is complex and murky. It’s been called a “fog” and a “black box.” The opacity of programmatic buying is costing advertisers money — and likely costing publishers money too. Below is a simplified view of the programmatic supply chain (source: AdFin).

Given the multiple intermediates, there is a lack of transparency — especially financial transparency — in the programmatic buying process. Various industry experts estimate that for every $1 invested by an advertiser in programmatic buying, only approximately $0.40 gets to the publisher. The remaining $0.60 is dispersed across the various intermediaries.

Some pieces of the supply chain add lots of value, others don’t. Low-value intermediaries prey on those who don’t investigate. I’ve heard experts claim that some marketers pay as many as three intermediaries for the same service.

So what should marketers do? Knowledge is power. Marketers should ramp up their programmatic intelligence.

The foundation of understanding programmatic is understanding the programmatic supply chain. Ask about the role of each player in the process. Such a long supply chain means there are numerous intermediaries of intermediaries. Advertisers need to talk to the tech providers. Know the partners of your partners. Inquire about the flow of money between working dollars (to the publisher) and non-working dollars (to the various other intermediaries).

As greater transparency occurs, savings can be realized for marketers and publishers, which would optimize the promise of programmatic buying.

For more on the issu
es surrounding media transparency, and what’s being done to alleviate them, read this month’s ANA magazine, which covers the topic in depth and features the perspectives of Bill Koenigsberg of Horizon Media and the 4A’s, Jon Mandel of Dogsled Enterprises, Douglas J. Wood of Reed Smith LLP, Dave Morgan of Simulmedia, ANA Chair Tony Pace, Bob Liodice of the ANA, and Marc Pritchard of Procter & Gamble, among others. 

Read ANA magazine here

Become an Agent of Change

By Lisa Guhanick, vice president of the ANA School of Marketing
Posted: Aug 17, 2015 12:00pm ET

Disruption is simply a matter of choice. You can be disrupted and constantly play catch-up while others rule the market, or you can be the disruptor and set your competitors scrambling.

However, in order to effect change, you need to take a new approach to doing business, adopt a new mental model that fits today’s consumer, and then lead your organization toward implementation. To do this, you will need a strong plan and a clear vision to halt your company’s inertia and move the organization in a new direction, but it’s not impossible. 

In a recent HBR article, Jerry Wind, professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an ANA instructor teaching Business Transformation Leadership for CMOs (September 16, in New York, N.Y.) discusses one such paradigm shift called co-creation, a new business model based on a network of customer involvement in creating products. “… by exploiting new digital technologies, firms like Apple, Lending Club, and AirBnB have made customer co-creation of value central to their business models and in doing so now rank among the world’s most innovative and valuable firms. Our research indicates that companies that make their customers partners, and share the value created, lead the pack on revenue growth, profit margins, capital efficiency, and enterprise value,” the article says. “By leveraging customer networks and their tangible (e.g. homes and cars) and intangible (e.g. expertise and relationships) assets, firms can gain these advantages of the Network Orchestration business model.” 

Media Transparency: What’s a Marketer to Do?

By Duke Fanelli, chief marketing officer at the ANA
Posted: Aug 14, 2015 9:00am ET

When it comes to the current industry upheaval surrounding media transparency, specifically media rebates, there is no shortage of finger pointing coming from both agencies and marketers. Speculation abounds that the rebate revelation is behind the current onslaught of agency reviews, the continuing breakdown in agency and client trust, and, as some marketers have suggested, the result of pushing agencies for increasingly lower fees. The media rebate issue became headline news following a scathing and very public unveiling by Jon Mandel, former CEO at MediaCom, of media rebate practices during a presentation at the ANA’s Media Leadership conference in March.

The issue sparked such debate and accusations that earlier this year the ANA and 4A’s created a task force on media transparency comprised of top marketers and agency leaders. At the time the task force was announced, Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO said, "We are genuinely pleased that the leaders of our industry recognize that transparency concerns — real and perceived — need to be addressed and mitigated. Media transactions have become increasingly complex, and our priorities must include recommended practices that enhance the understanding of the transaction processes."  

In June, to more fully understand the issue and identify solutions the industry can rally behind, the ANA issued an RFP to identify a third-party organization that could conduct a thorough and objective analysis of all media transparency issues impacting both marketers and agencies.

The August issue of ANA magazine takes a deep dive and hard look at the topic of media transparency and media rebates in the cover story, “The Eroding Cliff.” While the industry works toward a solution to its transparency challenges, the article points to some immediate steps marketers should consider. They include:

For more, read “The Eroding Cliff” and find additional recommendations on what to do right now in the “Thinking Clearly” sidebar, on page 6.

Let us know what you think of this month’s magazine. We want to hear from you.

Something’s Stirring

By Andrew Eitelbach, senior manager of marketing and communications
Posted: Aug 13, 2015 1:30am ET

Whether you know it or not, the marketing industry faces what could be a major issue. Rearing its head earlier this year during a presentation at the ANA Media Leadership Conference, the topic of media transparency — or more accurately the lack of transparency in media buying and the obscured financial arrangements potentially lurking therein — has tinged marketer-agency conversations ever since.

The problem and how we overcome it, which are outlined in the cover story of this month’s ANA magazine, are of critical importance to the industry. Though the extent of the problem is still unknown, many believe this to be a make-it-or-break-it situation — a point of no return. In fact, to quote the article, Kamran Asghar, president and co-founder of Crossmedia, "believes the industry is at 'a very intense crossroads' and anticipates the system, as it currently exists, will collapse in the next three to five years.”

Getting this right is crucial, and something the ANA, along with a number of industry leaders, is working to solve. Read this month’s cover story, “The Eroding Cliff,” to find out how.

Also in this issue:

We want your feedback. Let us know what you think of this issue. Leave a comment here or contact the editor, Andrew Eitelbach, at aeitelbach@ana.net.

Give Us Your Feedback

By Andrew Eitelbach, senior manager of marketing and communications
Posted: Aug 13, 2015 1:00am ET

This month’s ANA magazine features a cover story focused on media transparency — an issue critical to the marketing industry. A hotly disputed and a potentially calamitous problem for marketers, we’ve attempted to approach the topic in a fair way.

We sought perspective from those on every side of the conversation, and we’d like to get your opinion too. Leave a comment here to let us know what you think of the article or the issues surrounding media transparency.

We want to hear from you.

Alternatively, you can share your thoughts directly with the editor, Andrew Eitelbach, by email at aeitelbach@ana.net. Emails will remain confidential.


Photo credit: Archman via Shutterstock

ANA Offers Insurance for “Patent Troll” Protection

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Aug 11, 2015 3:00pm ET

The ANA has announced a program to provide members with focused patent infringement defense insurance protection for marketing and advertising activities. 

Patent assertion entities (PAEs), sometimes referred to as patent trolls, are firms which have the sole business of asserting patent claims against targeted companies, costing those companies millions of dollars in fees in order to defend against the claim. In the advertising space, PAEs have been increasingly in the news by claiming ownership of many common advertising practices, including using QR codes to direct a mobile device user to web content, putting a store locator on a website, superimposing a facial image on an animated body image, placing static ads in a video stream, and embedding a URL in a text message to direct a mobile device to web content.

As a result, marketers and/or their agencies could be faced with demands to pay large fees to PAEs that have not provided any direct services or technology to an advertising campaign, or, in many cases, contributed to any innovation. Furthermore, patent infringement is not covered under standard advertising liability policies, and thus far, standalone policies for patent infringement haven't met the specific needs and core concerns of members.

To address this issue, the ANA Patent Infringement Defense Insurance Program provides members with focused patent infringement defense insurance protection for marketing and advertising activities.

Patent trolls are still very much in the news and a continued nuisance to many ANA members.  We feel that insurance for patent infringement defense is a great new member benefit that provides good coverage at a modest cost. 

The Sad State of Content Marketing

By Ken Beaulieu, vice president of marketing and communications, ANA
Posted: Aug 4, 2015 11:00am ET

B-to-B companies today are cranking out content with increasing frequency to drive traffic to their websites, generate leads, engage targeted audiences, increase sales, and position themselves as thought leaders, among other objectives.

At least that’s their intention.

But the sad reality is that a majority of B-to-B marketers are failing at content marketing — a fact that Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, openly acknowledged at BMA15. And the hits just keep coming:

“There has been an explosion of content marketing, but brands and agencies haven’t really embraced the values of what it takes to create content that’s compelling,” admits Jeff Pundyk, global vice president of the content solutions unit at The Economist Group.

Be sure to read the latest issue of BMA Buzz to learn more about what’s holding back content marketing and how B-to-B marketers can use content more strategically and successfully to support the business strategy. Industry experts who weigh in, in addition to Pundyk, include Robert Rose, chief strategy officer at the Content Marketing Institute; Lee Odden, chief executive officer at TopRank Online Marketing; Ted Birkhahn, president of Peppercomm; and Phil Johnson, chief executive officer at PJA advertising + marketing.

Tug on my heartstrings, please!

By Mala White, senior manager of committees and conferences
Posted: Aug 3, 2015 3:00pm ET

Last year, the ANA’s Multicultural Excellence Awards program broke its submission record and a good portion of the advertising award submissions were designed to appeal to the audience’s emotions. Attempting to connect to their audience with emotions of happiness, sadness, or empathy, advertisers are hoping that appealing to their audience’s basic human emotions will gain them brand recognition, brand loyalty, and ultimately,  a greater return on investment.

Take for example ANA’s 2014 Grand Prize Winner in the LGBT Category, Honey Maid’s “This is Wholesome” campaign. Honey Maid rolled out ad campaigns that appealed to the nuclear, blended, interracial, extended, and same sex families and in doing so elevated itself from being the standard graham cracker company into one that, through emotion, embedded itself into the social conscience of society. With the face of America changing, Honey Maid’s message is resonating with a new type of audience and that’s a good thing. Many more brands are following suit, from Allstate to General Mill’s Cheerios and P&G,  as advertising today is becoming more about appealing to the emotions of the audience and connecting on a level other than just their wallet. And it’s paying off.

According to IPA dataBANK, which contains 1,400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns, “campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content (and did a little better than those that mixed emotional and rational content).”

As we begin taking submissions for 2015 ANA’s Multicultural Excellence Awards, I’m expecting to see more brands take this approach. As Plato said, “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” So marketers, if you want my loyalty and my money, tug on my heartstrings, please!

Key Takeaways from the 2015 ANA Digital & Social Media Conference

By Victoria Lopez, director, member relations
Posted: Jul 31, 2015 10:30am ET

This year’s ANA Digital & Social Media Conference saw industry leaders from the marketing world come together to discuss some of the hottest topics in the digital and social space. Below you’ll find some of the key takeaways from the sessions: 

Key Takeaway #1: Leverage Relevance

Vineet Mehra, president of global marketing services at J&J Consumer Group of Companies, provided insight into J&J’s formula for being “relentlessly relevant,” which can be expressed in the equation R² = P + MtM:

Essentially, brands need to activate their purpose in those moments that matter most in the consumers mind. One way to pinpoint those moments is through social listening; however, Vineet cautions that the power of social listening isn’t in the individual comments but the aggregation of the knowledge. 

According to Andrew Markowitz, general manager of GE's Performance Marketing Labs, digital is a quest to connect people, ideas, and machines and to personalize and customize the experiences. The yield is micro relevance for macro impact. 

Key Takeaway #2: Create Moments that Matter      

Julie Fleischer, senior director of data, content, and media at Kraft Foods, provided a new perspective on “mobile moments.” During the luncheon panel, she urged the audience to rethink and simply consider these “moments.” Mobile usage is growing tremendously and is so engrained in our lives that it’s redundant to label these “mobile moments” — meaning create moments that people will want to share and that will be useful and relevant as they’ll likely be shared or consumed via mobile anyway. A powerful example of this came from Stan Pavlovsky, president at Allrecipes, who showed how they worked with Corbin de Rubertis, president at Grocery Server, to incorporate geotargeting (not a new concept) in a completely unique way — showing the shopping list with items that are on sale at nearby grocery stores.

Douglas Busk, global group director of digital communications and social media at Coca-Cola, shared how the brand leveraged the Mad Men finale to hit the “perfect moment” using their own formula for real time success: Quality Content + Coordinated Efforts + Current = Winning Stories. 

Key Takeaway #3: Adopt a “Digital First” Mindset

Scott Cottick, senior manager of social media marketing at Nissan, discussed how large media platforms such as The Voice and the Super Bowl have become social viewing events. In order to make an impact beyond the show and paid media, a “digital first” strategy helps create “buzz” and PR to leverage earned media. Beyond these large-scale tent-pole events, developing engaging, digital-only content can help bring the customer on the journey at the top of funnel to present your brand in a different way. Sarah Hofstetter, CEO at 360i, went on to say digital video is really just video and we need to stop looking at it through such a narrow lens. Until then, it won’t be scalable.     

Key Takeaway #4: Insights are still the most powerful tool

Chris Padgett, vice president and marketing head of digital at Nestle, and Sarah Hofstetter brought it all down to the basics. Despite the new technologies coming out each day, the timeless fundamentals still apply. Having a core insight is still necessary to inspire, ignite and impact.  Once you have that insight, the technology to execute will follow. Both Vineet Mehra and Scott Cottick took that a step further to speak about emotion and how, regardless of platform, campaigns that come from the heart will resonate.        

Key Takeaway #5: Realities of Digital Measurement

Randall Rothenberg, CEO at IAB, admits we have a long way to go on universally defined guiding principles for measurement, despite the fact that 2016 digital ad spend will exceed all TV in the U.S. Furthermore, despite growth in programmatic, uncertainties remain around viewability, fraudulent traffic, and transparency. Randall went on to emphatically declare that 100% viewability is NOT possible within the current infrastructure. In 2015, the standard rate remains at 70%. As technology develops and systems advance, the goal is for 100% viewability. Still, advertisers cite the digital supply chain’s open architecture as one of the biggest issues.  

Same Project, Different Tools

By Andrew Eitelbach, senior manager of marketing and communications
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 12:00pm ET

Tomorrow marks the first day of the ANA Digital and Social Media Conference, a three-day event featuring speakers from brands like Nissan, GE, and Mondelēz. No doubt the time will be packed with insights and compelling case studies, but don’t get distracted by the bells and whistles of technology and misunderstand the main point — success on social is not about using the latest tools and platforms to stay up to date, it’s about truly knowing your consumer audience and understanding how best to connect with them.

The essence of digital and social marketing is the same as every other form of marketing — delivering a brand message that rings true with consumers and compels them to convert. That’s the key message behind this month’s cover story in ANA magazine too. “Putting It All Together” discusses what it takes for brands to engage the sometimes-elusive, always-empowered DIY consumer. With insights from E*TRADE, Nutrisystem, and Ace Hardware, it’s a must read.
Also in this issue, written specifically with ANA Digital and Social Media Conference goers in mind, are the core tenets of effective digital advertising, written by MasterCard’s J. R. Badian
Plus, don’t miss an infographic on digital marketing’s blind spot, a special section from Centro on smart cross-channel strategies, and so much more. Read the full issue, online right now
I’ll be in attendance at the conference, live-tweeting from the ANA’s handle, @ANAMarketers. Follow the action and use the conference hashtag #ANADigital to participate in the conversation.
I hope to see you there. 

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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.