Marketing Maestros

Transparency Issues Ring Out 2014 … And Ring In 2015

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Dec 29, 2014 1:00pm ET

Ad Age identifies media transparency as one of its “Biggest Stories of the Year” and acknowledges work from ANA, saying:

Media Transparency: As digital-media buying reached an all-time high this year, marketers pushed for more clarity around agency-compensation models, inventory pricing, ad viewability and fraud. An Association of National Advertisers survey found that nearly half of respondents were concerned about the transparency of media buys. This year, a handful of marketers also sought to exert more control over programmatic buying by bringing it in-house.

The Wall Street Journal wrote about “Five Issues Facing Madison Avenue in 2015” and one of those issues is: Programmatic buying and what it means for the agency-client relationship will come into greater focus. The article goes on to say:

Though programmatic technologies are aimed at making ad buying and selling more efficient, it’s also raising questions from clients about what they’re getting for their money when they use an agency trading desk and how their data is being used. A report earlier this year from Forrester Research and the ANA found 46% of the 125 marketers polled said they have concerns about the transparency between them and the agencies that buy online ads on their behalf. Some brands are even making moves to take their digital media buying operations in-house, highlighting potential trust issues between clients and their agencies.

I personally believe that the relationship between marketers and their media agencies is less transparent/more opaque than it’s ever been in any of our respective careers.  You can count on the issue of media transparency staying high on ANA’s priority list in 2015!

See you at CES!

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Dec 19, 2014 10:00am ET

In early January 150,000 people will make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the 2015 CES.  More than 20% of those will be from the marketing/advertising industry.

ANA is excited to partner with the Consumer Electronic Association to develop conference programming and we will be presenting Digital Disruption. Digital has completely disrupted and transformed the landscape for marketers, agencies and media companies. Digital Disruption will bring together top industry leaders to share case studies and discuss the hottest issues in digital marketing and media. 

Digital Disruption will take place from January 6-8, 2015 at C Space, located at ARIA, which is the official CES destination for creative communicators, brand professionals and digital advertisers. Confirmed speakers for Digital Disruption are: 

Beware Sourced Traffic – per ANA/White Ops Bot Fraud Study

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Dec 16, 2014 10:00am ET

Last week ANA and White Ops publicly released the report, “The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising.” The study analyzed the level of bot fraud occurring across the digital advertising industry and made a series of recommendations.

One of the biggest findings is that publishers who purchased “sourced traffic” display inventory from a third party had 52 percent fraud. To put that in perspective, fraud in display advertising overall was 11% so sourced traffic display inventory was almost five times higher! Importantly, well-known publishers and premium publishers were not immune to high bot levels in sourced traffic.

Sourced traffic (or traffic sourcing) is any method by which publishers acquire more visitors through third parties. That’s often done because a publisher does not have enough available inventory on its own site to fulfill the requirements of a buy and, rather than turn away ad dollars, that publisher goes out to third party sites and buys traffic that mirrors the audience on its own site.

Given that traffic sourcing correlates strongly to high bot percentages, it’s recommended that buyers request transparency from publishers around traffic sourcing and build language in RFPs and insertion orders that requires publishers to identify all third-party sources of traffic. Furthermore, buyers should have the option of rejecting sourced traffic and running their advertising only on a publisher’s organic site traffic.

Publishers should always monitor sourced traffic, know their sources and maintain transparency about traffic sourcing. Publishers should then eliminate sources of traffic that are shown to have high bot percentages.

The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising has some terrific insights and provides a total of seventeen recommendations to the industry to help combat fraud. 

The December Issue of Spotlight Is Here

By Andrew Eitelbach, senior manager of marketing and communications
Posted: Dec 12, 2014 12:30pm ET

As the year comes to a close, so does the run of ANA Magazine Spotlight, or at least in its current form. But the publication is going out on a high note, with a look at the quest for cross-platform measurement standards and how we’re defining viewable impressions. Brought to you by our partner Scripps Networks Interactive, this month’s issue also takes a close look at how to effectively reach the highly-influential lifestyle consumer, and more.
In January, we’re launching a reimagined publication called ANA. Developed specifically for client-side marketers, this magazine will feature a new interface that allows for a more integrated multimedia experience, increased social sharing, and a better reading experience. Stay tuned. 
In the meantime, don't miss this month’s ANA Magazine Spotlight.

Highlights from the Reinvention of Marketing Book Launch

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

Last Thursday, members of the marketing community gathered to celebrate the release of The Reinvention of Marketing. The Internationalist’s Deborah Malone worked with fifteen global marketing leaders to write the book, which also features a foreword by the ANA’s own Bob Liodice. Four of the inspiring marketers profiled through a series of interviews in The Reinvention of Marketing joined Malone onstage for a brief panel:

For more information on the Internationalist’s The Reinvention of Marketing, click here.

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

Fraud in Digital Advertising – ANA/White Ops Report Released!

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Dec 9, 2014 12:03am ET

Today ANA and White Ops have publicly released the report, The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising.”  Very exciting!

ANA recruited 36 member companies to participate in this initiative to determine the level of bot fraud occurring across the digital advertising industry. Bot fraud refers to automated entities capable of garnering impressions, clicking on ads, watching videos, and faking viewability, often in pursuit of fradulent profits.

White Ops tagged the digital creative of participants to determine fraud activity in August and September 2014 covering 181 campaigns. The study measured 5.5 billion impressions in 3 million domains (U.S. only) during its 60 day span. Topline findings:

Importantly, bot activity is most likely under-reported in this study as the study was announced publicly, putting bot traffickers on “high alert," and the August/September time period has lower than average traffic activity.  

More details in our report, which is now public.

About Those Social Followings You Paid to Build Up…

By Michael Berberich, manager, marketing knowledge center
Posted: Dec 5, 2014 1:00pm ET

As recently as a year ago, Facebook was a platform on which brands could reach thousands (sometimes millions) of their “fans” for free, and as a result, companies spent significant funds accumulating “likes.” Then, last December, Facebook announced that it was changing its algorithm, and that fewer fans would be exposed to each piece of content posted on a Facebook Fan Page. Marketers soon realized that by “fewer,” the social network meant “10 percent or less of a page’s following.” There was, of course, still a way for brands to reach all of the fans they worked so hard to get: pay Facebook for the privilege. Some brands re-focused their energy toward other social channels like Twitter and Instagram, but marketers would be well-served to take a step back and realize that they don’t “own” their social audiences.

Facebook had a legitimate reason for the change in policy: as more brands established a presence on the platform, news feeds became inundated with advertising and threatened to drive off consumers. Marketers can expect other platforms to follow suit when the problem of ad oversaturation occurs, and it will, eventually, on ever social network. This is why the Content Marketing Institute recommends that, instead of incentivizing social “likes” and “follows,” brands should use their social channels to drive consumers to subscribe to their own “hub,” whether that’s a newsletter, blog, or loyalty program. Subscribers have been shown to purchase more items, consider higher-level product offerings, and share brand news more often than non-subscribers, and they comprise a group that the brand can reach out to and engage on its own terms. TD Ameritrade reported that its thinkMoney magazine subscribers traded five times as much on the platform than non-subscribers, so all of the brand’s social media efforts are focused on driving traffic to the magazine, not the other way around.

The CMI offers insights into how brands can use content marketing to build their own social network here: Five Key Essentials to Epic Content Marketing.

Programmatic: ANA 2014 Marketing Word of the Year

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

For the first time, the ANA surveyed our members to identify the marketing word of the year. The ANA staff selected a list of finalists and then asked members to cast their vote to determine the winner. Voting was done between November 24 and December 2. In total, 349 members participated and “programmatic” received the most votes. 

Here’s what we heard from those who voted for programmatic as the ANA 2014 marketing word of the year:

Programmatic buying has been covered extensively by ANA in 2014 via touch points including the ANA/Forrester survey and white paper, “Media Buying’s Evolution Challenges Marketers.” A learning there was that despite increasing talk in the industry and an explosion of new programmatic buying technologies and vendors, programmatic buying isn’t well understood by marketers. More than half the marketers surveyed confessed they don’t understand programmatic buying well enough to use it to buy and manage campaigns.

The aforementioned verbatims further reinforce the fact that there is a lack of understanding of programmatic buying among some marketers. This realistic self-appraisal opens the door for continued training and education.

Patent Troll Liability in Client/ Agency Contracts

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Dec 1, 2014 11:00am ET

ANA has just released the white paper, "Patent Troll Liability in Client/Agency Contracts."

Patent assertion entities (PAEs), sometimes referred to as patent trolls, are firms which have the sole business of buying up patents and then filing patent infringement claims against targeted companies, costing those compa­nies millions of dollars in fees in order to avoid paying even more to defend themselves in court. In the adver­tising space, patent trolls have been increasingly in the news. In order to more clearly understand how marketers currently handle the risks associated with patent infringement in their agency contracts, ANA members were surveyed. This survey, along with ongoing dialogue that the ANA has had with members, has helped provide the foundation for the following ANA recommendation:

The ANA recommends that clients generally not indemnify agencies for patent claims. Rather, agencies should assume the liability for their work product, including liability for patent infringement. Accordingly, client/agency contracts should include “indemnity clauses” which require that the agency step in and defend the client in the event of a patent infringement claim. It is recognized, however, that shared approaches to liability are gaining traction in the marketplace. ANA members are encouraged to consider whether a shared approach to liability makes sense in any of their agency relationships.

Plain and simple, agencies need to be thoughtful in what they pitch to clients and accountable for the work they create. Agencies cannot recommend ideas to clients and then put the client in the position of researching that such work does not infringe on patents. Agencies, in most cases, should have that responsibility.

The ANA survey results provide a clear benchmark for the industry. Currently, agencies are most likely to assume the risks associated with patent infringement. Close to half the respondents note that some of their contracts with agencies have a shared approach to liability. Among those respondents who changed the terms of agency contracts in the past year to address patent troll liability, the most cited reason for doing do was to share liability. Among those considering a change in the next year, shared liability is a key consideration. It is recognized that there are limited circumstances where a shared approach to liability makes sense.

ANA members would be well served to understand the threats of patent trolls and make sure that contracts with agencies are up to date. 

Challenges from a Multicultural Marketing Leader

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Nov 24, 2014 11:00am ET
Lizette Williams was a presenter at the 2014 Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference

Lizette Williams is one of the dynamic new leaders in our industry. She is currently Multicultural Marketing Leader, North America at Kimberly-Clark Corporation leading the organization’s multicultural marketing strategy across all brands. As part of her role, Lizette is charged with implementing a total market strategy throughout the organization and chairs the Multicultural Taskforce, a 20-person, cross-functional team responsible for growing the North American businesses with ethnic consumer segments. The ANA was fortunate to have Lizette as a presenter at our recent Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, where she posed important challenges to client side marketers and agency partners.

To client side marketers: This is a fascinating time to be in the multicultural industry and we have this amazing opportunity to evolve the depiction of people of color in the media. Look behind the obvious insights and think deeper about these consumers and get to the core of who they are so we get to a place where we have better work and better depictions of people of color in the media.

To agency partners: The general market is Hispanic and the mainstream is diverse. Don’t hold on so tightly to your original reason for being that you become obsolete. Continue to evolve your approach and maintain your relevance. It’s not about eliminating ethnic agencies but it’s about repositioning to represent the general market.   

Bravo, Lizette. We were fortunate to have you with us! 

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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.