AFM Conference Off to a Great Start

May 5, 2014

By Constantine von Hoffman

The first session of the Advertising Financial Management conference got off with a bang as Decideware CEO Steven Wales announced a record attendance of more than 600 people. Proof that it’s a quality crowd here: Wales was happy about the number of people even though Decideware had just bought us all a truly fine breakfast!

Proof of quality of the content being offered: Despite the beautiful weather and the lure of nearby beaches and pools, it was standing room only for the entire first session.

Wales was followed by Jim Porcarelli, chief strategy officer at Active International, who promised interesting results of a new CFO/CMO alignment survey which he will be releasing tomorrow.

ANA President Bob Liodice then gave a nice overview of the topics to be addressed at the conference, which are also some of the biggest concerns of marketers and agencies. “This conference is about movement,” he said. “Every part of the media supply chain has been turned on its head.”

There’s no need for anyone to wait any longer for disruption, it’s here:

  • It’s allowing us to have one-to-one relationships with customers.
  • It’s allowing us to increase creativity and innovation, making marketing fun again.
  • It’s making anyone who predicted the death of TV feel very silly.

He then looked at the chief worry of the entire industry: Are we leaving money on the table? Undoubtedly yes. The way to address that is by focusing on strategic media imperatives:

  • Measurement — currently a lot of work is underway to come up with cross-platform comparison metrics but there’s still a lot of work to be done on the plethora of unmeasured media.
  • Digital media value erosion — Why isn’t the industry doing more to address the problem of click fraud?
  • Media transparency
  • Training — Because of the rapid pace of change, very few marketers feel they know enough to optimize the tools they have. This has to be addressed.

Bob was followed by conference co-chairs Terri Burns, Aflac’s strategic sourcing consultant, and Sal Vitale, Johnson & Johnson’s category lead for media procurement, who further outlined what we could look forward to over the coming days.

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