Tag Archives: marketing

The P’s and Q’s of Selling Great Work

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As 2016 winds down, I’m pausing for a moment to reflect on how fast the industry is moving. With deadlines coming quicker than ever, we creatives all too often forget this is a business built on relationships, not just ideas. We focus so hard on doing and selling great work that we tend to overlook our role of fostering common ground between agency and client.

Whether you need a friendly reminder or are just beginning to land yourself in rooms with the big guns, here’s a compilation of what I’ve learned from 15 years in advertising.

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What You’ll Need to Build the Agency of the Future

In 2010, the CEO of an upstart digital agency was asked by the IAB to predict the future of advertising agencies and how they needed to adapt if they wanted to be around 10 years from now. Rather than give a eulogy, the thesis of that talk was that we were on the cusp of the golden age of advertising and that agencies could and should play a critical role in helping brands transform their marketing.

Well flash forward six years, and I’m reprising this talk at IAB Mixx during Advertising Week. Then as now, there was deep pessimism about the future of agencies and a clear implication that agency survival was an open question. Then as now, in spite of things being far from perfect, I am very bullish on the opportunity and need for agencies to play an essential leadership role in the future of marketing.

There is both peril and promise for everyone in this industry whether agencies, media owners or brands. In the last six years, consumer behavior has continued to change exponentially, to the point where two of the most dominant platforms — Instagram and Snapchat — didn’t even exist when I first visited this topic. And yet the infrastructure at most clients and agencies still feels heavily analog. Marketing, as a profession, is in real trouble if we keep letting consumers lap us.

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Let Machines Do the Advertising Grunt Work

Artificial Intelligence Is a Tool, Not a Replacement for Marketers

In 1950, computing pioneer Alan Turing posed a heretical question: Can machines think?

Some 66 years later, the answer is clear. Evidence of machine learning is all around us. Execute a Google search and you’ll reap the benefits of machine learning. When Google presents results to a user, the user votes on those results via a click. The machine records that click, and then uses that data to inform future results.

Even though such technology is now commonplace, some fear machine learning. That’s because we have been inundated with science fiction stories and movies over the past few decades about machines taking over. Some in the advertising industry may also dread the idea of a machine taking over their jobs.

IBM Watson avatar

IBM Watson avatar Credit: IBM

Actually, tools likeIBM’s Watson that are capable of making decisions and “thinking” aren’t replacements for people. They’re tools that let marketers do their jobs better. They are well positioned to do the advertising grunt work.

Why marketers need AI

The advertising world got by for a century or so without artificial intelligence. Why does it need it now? The short answer is that the media environment has gotten far too complex. It is beyond human capability to reach an individual online via his or her various devices. To have a clear conversation with me — Bruce the consumer — you would have to process huge amounts of data. That’s not because I’m unusually complex, but rather because I switch between devices, like many consumers.

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Despite All This Data, Empathy Is Still the Greatest Tool in a Marketer’s Toolbox

A Top-Down Approach Needs to Be Balanced with Consumer-Centric Thinking

Imagine having to watch an hour’s worth of commercials before a two-hour movie. Or being tapped on the shoulder before each page of a novel with an “exclusive offer.” It sounds ludicrous, but this is essentially the way we experience ad-supported content today. It’s no wonder ad blockers are proliferating.

This is because something strange happens to ad execs when we walk through the doors of our corporate offices: We somehow forget that, just before stepping over that threshold, we were a part of the population we’re trying to reach with ads. With this perspective mysteriously erased from our minds, we begin describing people as “users” that “consume” content in a “cross-screen” environment. When was the last time you thought to yourself, “I’m done watching short-form, snackable content on my mobile screen and now I’m going to watch long-form, premium content on my OTT device?”

This collective amnesia can be cured by simply reminding ourselves that we, too, are the viewers. People don’t think in silos. They just want to watch their stuff where and when they want — and so do we. This is indicative of what I see as the major problem in our industry: We need to balance our top-down approach with consumer-centric, bottom-up thinking. As we begin to make this change, what should serve as our beacon is a sense of balance and empathy.

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Marketing’s 10 Biggest Thought Leaders of 2015

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One of the best ways to excel in marketing–and in life–is to surround yourself with smart people. And while you can’t get folks like Guy Kawasaki and Mark Zuckerberg in close proximity unless you’ve got the big bucks, you can choose to follow them online to see what they find important.

During a recent CMO.com team call, one of our teammates asked us to name some of marketing’s biggest thought leaders. We came up with a short list and then reached out to our Twitter followers and some contacts to round out the list of top 10. Here they are, in no particular order:

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See the First 360-Degree Video Ads on Facebook

AT&T, Samsung, Nestle Among Brands Test New Format

360-degree marketing” has been an industry buzzword for years, but what about 360-degree advertising?

Facebook is starting to test 360-degree video ads with a handful of brands including AT&T, Samsung and Nestle, all of which can be seen below. Facebook officially introduced the virtual reality-lite video format on its desktop site and Android apps in September, and the social network is now bringing 360-degree videos — and ads — to Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

In addition to the brands advertising 360-degree videos on Facebook, publishers including ABC News, BuzzFeed and Nickelodeon have begun posting all-angle videos to the social network, which can also be watched using Samsung’s Gear VR virtual-reality headset.

And to attract more 360-degree videos to its service, Facebook has added a way for anyone operating a Facebook page to post 360-degree videos, including a way to edit the initial camera angle and vertical field of view before uploading the video. The company has also created a dedicated site for creators, publishers and brands to learn more about producing 360-degree videos.

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Why Marketeres Are Investing in Digital Hieroglyphics – Emojis

Ford, Domino’s, Dell, Others Work to Translate the Language of Emojis

Dell employed them for back-to-school marketing, Ford used them to promote its latest Focus model, and Domino’s has invested in them to revolutionize its pizza-ordering process. Emojis are transforming digital communication, but beyond occasionally measuring engagement with their own branded digital hieroglyphics, marketers still haven’t determined how best to gauge emojis as part of the larger social media conversation.

When Ford Motor Co. ran a branded emoji campaign in conjunction with mobile platform Swyft Media, the automaker generated 25,000 downloads of its Ford Focus digital stickers each day for 10 days in September. Those downloads led to 40,000 shares of those branded images via messaging platforms each day, totaling more than 1 million impressions, according to Swyft. The stickers, which can be shared in apps including Facebook Messenger and Twitter, feature images of Ford Focus automobiles coupled with phrases such as “Let’s Go!” and “Drive Safe!”

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What We Can Learn From ‘Like a Girl’

Always Campaign Wins GoodWorks Effie

When I first became publisher of Ad Age, I worked with Marylee Keane and her team at the Effie Awards to create the GoodWorks Effie, to recognize marketers effectively using their platform for good. With great power comes great responsibility, and we, as marketers with powerful platforms, have the ability to use that power to further good in the world and help solve the multitude of challenges that face our nation and the world at large. The award was intended to highlight excellent examples of purpose-driven campaigns, so we collectively could have a greater impact.

This year, P&G’s “Like a Girl,” campaign for Always, was the sole winner in the GoodWorks Brand category, where it took home the silver Effie. (The campaign also won gold in other categories.) “Like a Girl” has received close to 58 million views on YouTube since it debuted last summer and has been lauded by many for its insight and impact.

The fact that this campaign is the only winner in the GoodWorks Brand category is noteworthy given how many brands are pursuing purpose-based initiatives. Perhaps it means these efforts will face greater scrutiny as more programs enter the market. This is a good thing, however, and even under this filter “Like a Girl” clearly stood out.

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Brands’ Future Is Creating Shared Value, Not Just Social Responsibility Campaigns

It’s Not About Brands Reinventing Themselves, But Going Back to Their Beginnings

In a seminal article that appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 2011, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer defined a new paradigm for business with the words “shared value.” The idea is that the future of today’s brands will lie in aligning business success with positive social impact for people and the planet. This is a new way of looking at corporate citizenship, from occasional philanthropic and cause-oriented actions that lie outside of their core business, to the core business itself and its potential to make the world a better place.

Both of these represent a transient, perhaps insincere, and unsustainable role for brands in making the world better, whereas aligning how the actual products and services can make a positive impact makes them enduring and sustainable.

The truth is, today’s greatest and most enduring brands came into the world through a shared-value idea. The world’s most-loved brands started with a single person who saw a societal need and looked to create something that could address that need and make the world a better place.

Thomas Edison saw an opportunity to bring light to the world.

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Twitter Taps Data Giant to Connect Dots Between Tweets and Store Purchases

Now that advertisers are starting to spend real money on Twitter, the pressure is on to prove that those investments deliver tangible results. Twitter took a step in that direction today by announcing its partnership with the data giant Datalogix to gauge the impact of tweets — both paid and organic — on sales for consumer packaged goods marketers.

Datalogix and Twitter find the correlation between tweets and purchases by matching email addresses that have been scrambled — or “hashed” — to ensure users’ anonymity. Twitter users provide an email address when registering their account, and Datalogix collects emails through loyalty programs. (Datalogix has a similar deal with Facebook to connect users and their purchases.)

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