Last week, we held our inaugural i’mPART Women’s Master Class where mid-career executives were encouraged to “See Beyond Where Your Are.” They spent the day learning and hearing invaluable insights from some of the industry’s top coaches and professionals. Held in an intimate setting, Harold Pratt House, the event featured a keynote from Tami Erwin, SVP and Group President of Verizon; an inspiring presentation from The Girls’ Lounge CEO, Shelley Zalis; and Dyllan McGee, Founder of McGee Media and Founder and Executive Producer of AOL MAKERS.
Attendees also participated in hands on learning on finance, leadership and entrepreneurship, personal branding, and the power of choice led by Kathleen Entwistle, SVP Wealth Management at UBS; PJ Guinan, Associate Professor at Babson College; Executive Coach Dushka Zapatal; and Audra Bohannon, Senior Partner, Korn Ferry’s Leadership and Talent Consulting.
Here’s what we learned at our Women’s Master Class:
Invest and Believe in Yourself
Tami Erwin stressed the importance of saying, “Today, I’m going to invest in me.” She also says that you must “believe in the power and potential of you.” If you believe in yourself and strive to be the best version of you, you will achieve excellence.
Power of Collaboration
In the words of Shelley Zalis, “The power of collaboration is a key factor in career advancement.” Yes, women should help lift each other up to rise through the ranks, but we still need men as much as women in every organization to support one another.
Break the Glass Ceiling
For Dyllan McGee, it’s up to women to break the glass ceiling. Everyone is unique, so their glass ceiling is equally as unique and it is up to them to identify what that glass ceiling is and how to break it to make a path for those who come after them to achieve new heights.
The event concluded with i’mPART Co-Chairs’ Laurel Rossi, President, Havas Life & Wellness and Sandra Sims-Williams, Chief Diversity Officer, Publicis Groupe, who announced the first class of AD Club’s and i’mPART’s Fellowship winners. Over 100 women across 56 companies applied for the fellowship and 10 were selected. A special congratulations to these women who, through this initiative, will have the funding to participate in major industry conferences, gain professional mentorship from top industry executives, and gain access to unique training opportunities throughout the year.
- Amber Jackson, Senior Account Manager, 360i
- Shaquana Ford, Investment Manager, AOL
- Alicia Ray, Manager of Product Marketing, AT&T Ad Works
- Kim Nguyen, Associate Creative Director & Writer, BBDO New York
- Mariam Guessous, Art Director, Digitas LBI
- Alvana Nicaj, VP of Payer Strategy, Entree Health
- Ifeolu Babatunde, Agency Partnership Manager, LinkedIn
- Andea Campbell, Partner, Director, Analytics & Insights, MEC Global
- Keisha Stephen-Gittens, Associate of Global Brand Communications, MRM/McCann
- Angela Mayfield, Associate Director of Strategy, Zenith
For more information on the Fellowship program and i’mPART, click here.
Originally Posted on D&G Law.
The marketing communications industry has seen significant change over the past few years, and to help navigate the changing industry, lawyers from Davis & Gilbert LLP produced their third annual 2015 Lessons Learned / 2016 Practical Advice. The publication highlights major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in the coming year.
Political candidates and their supporters have been projected to spend a record $11.4 billion on advertising during the election cycle ending on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. As a result of legal and media developments that occurred in 2015, much of this advertising will withhold from voters the identity of the people paying for it. 2015 should be remembered as the year that political advertisers rejected transparency and disclosure in their campaign communications, and received support in that effort from the government and the press.
Reformist politicians and public interest groups pushed the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to require advertisements placed by political action committees (PACs) to more clearly identify the individuals paying the bills, but the FEC did not act. As a result, ads nominally sponsored by PACs with indistinguishable patriotic names continue to proliferate, and voters continue to have little knowledge of who actually is funding those ads.
PACs and other political advertisers also welcomed the emergence of another path to minimize their disclosures to voters, as BuzzFeed launched a service to create and host native political advertisements for candidates and causes. Because BuzzFeed native advertising typically has been only lightly labeled “sponsored,” media watchdogs anticipate that BuzzFeed native political advertising similarly will only inconspicuously identify to voters that it is paid content and who sponsored that content. As a result, voters who encounter BuzzFeed native political advertising alongside editorial listicles and through their social media feeds may have no idea that a political article they are reading is biased spin and not nonpartisan news.
The savviest political candidates, however, succeeded in dodging FEC disclosure rules altogether by exploiting two legal loopholes. First, they placed their campaign advertisements on their own websites and social media pages and disseminated them through sympathetic bloggers and other unpaid Internet media opportunities, thereby bypassing the paid online media placements that trigger FEC disclosure requirements. Second, they coordinated their advertising efforts with the monied PACs supporting their election runs before they formally announced their candidacies, thereby enabling the pro-candidate advertising that the PACs release later in the election cycle to avoid being deemed by the FEC a “coordinated communication” which requires disclosure that the ad has been approved by the candidate. As a result, “Swift Boat”-style attack ads created by a candidate and a PAC under this pre-candidacy FEC exception can carry a disclaimer stating that the ad was not authorized by the candidate, and the candidate can distance himself or herself from any deceptive claims in the ad.
- The chair of the FEC, Ann Ravel, has deemed the FEC “worse than dysfunctional,” so voters should not expect the agency to compel political advertisers to make additional disclosures or provide greater transparency to voters in 2016.
- Interesting developments in the law governing political advertising more likely will emerge on the media side, especially in connection with the growing trend of transit agencies around the country refusing to carry advertising regarding political issues, to avoid offending riders and, arguably, to avoid inciting violence.
- Courts have been divided on whether these bans violate the First Amendment, and in light of inconsistent rulings in 2015 on advertisements with such messages as “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah” (permitted, in New York) and “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work” (prohibited, in Seattle) and the public importance of political speech, a case on public transit advertising bans likely will appear on the U.S. Supreme Court docket in the near future.
Ashima A. Dayal is a partner in the Entertainment, Media & Sports Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert. She has a wide range of experience in the entertainment and journalism fields, and deep expertise in intellectual property litigation and media law. She advises the firm’s media, advertising and entertainment clients on all aspects of copyright, trademark, right of publicity and defamation law. She also has considerable experience resolving complex issues and disputes raising false advertising, unfair competition, misappropriation of idea, e-commerce and contract concerns. Ms. Dayal has been repeatedly ranked in Media Law International’s annual guide, and she speaks and writes regularly about media law issues. She can be reached at 212.468.4912 or at email@example.com.
The AD Club and i’mPART have made a pledge to you to continue to advocate for diversity not only in our industry but also in all industries, everywhere. Stemming from the success of our first diversity campaign back in October, we will be launching our first-ever Master Class Series that will focus on all women in the advertising, marketing and media industries! In order to help women in these industries and beyond, this Master Class will feature influential women business leaders such as Tami Erwin, Senior Vice President & Group President of Verizon, and more. They will speak about their own successes and offer advice to become successful. Our strategic workshops, keynotes and panels will offer top-notch, invaluable tips and tools to enhance professional development and help get you to the next level of your career path. Whether you’re just starting out or whether you’re one of your company’s senior executives – this Master Series is for you. Join us on Monday, May 2nd, and register here today!
Originally Posted on Adweek.
By Tim Nudd
Y&R New Zealand’s celebrated McWhopper campaign took home the highest honor, the Grandy, at the 52nd annual International Andy Awards on Tuesday night. And Y&R staffers from around the globe celebrated in a fun (if not very healthy) way—by making their own handmade McWhoppers, as seen in the cute video below.
It’s rare and refreshing to see this kind of network camaraderie, particularly around awards, where offices far from the winning one might not ordinarily feel much of a connection.
For the McWhopper stunt, which happened last August, Burger King reached out to McDonald’s and suggested they partner up and actually make a McWhopper for Peace Day. McDonald’s politely declined, which meant it was never officially made—outside of the rudimentary efforts of amateurs (including, at the time, AdFreak’s own official fast-food tester David Griner).
Y&R had a brilliant showing at the Andys. In addition to the Grandy for McWhopper, the network won the Richard T. O’Reilly Award for Outstanding Public Service for its “Melanoma Likes Me” work, created by GPY&R Brisbane in Australia.
“We are simply ecstatic,” Tony Granger, global chief creative officer of Y&R, said in a statement. “We are so proud of winning the two top awards. Both ideas are terrific proof that brave clients get the work they deserve.”
Originally appeared on DMA’s Data-Driven Marketing Blog.
By David Kohl, CEO, Morgan Digital Ventures
Many of us frequently use the phrase, “separating the wheat from the chaff.” But I’m willing to bet that few of us really know what it means — unless you happen to be a grain farmer. Farmers know that chaff is the inedible husk surrounding a seed, and that it is frequently thrown away. I know I’ve used the phrase when distinguishing between something valuable from that which is not, or comparing individuals that have a track record of getting the job done vs. those with whom I have much less confidence. A purist might use this phrase to compare useful to useless, but in the vernacular, most refer to wheat and chaff in a less binary fashion.
I find myself recalling the phrase when my clients ask about the plethora of well-intentioned, innovative startups that dot the landscape between marketer, agency, publisher and consumer. Here’s a marketplace of literally hundreds of young companies with names that sound strikingly similar to words in the dictionary, sometimes ending in “ly.” More often than not, these early-stage startups tout the power and growing size of their datasets, and they reference their respectable list of brand-name clients while issuing press releases that suggest they’re “the global leader” in something or other. This is not to diminish the value that many innovate adtech and martech startups provide within the digital ecosystem. In fact, these companies are the engines of innovation. But for so many seeking to buy products and services in this market, when looking out across the field, it isn’t easy to distinguish the incredibly powerful disrupters from those that are, well, not so much. It’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
It hasn’t always been this way.
A decade ago, the marketing and advertising ecosystem was smaller and simpler. Terry Kajawa’s original LUMAscape (an internal LUMA Partners reference until 2009) highlighted less than 100 display-advertising companies. That compares to 11 separate LUMAscapes today boasting thousands. And Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Supergraphic featured roughly 150 companies in 2011 compared to 3,874 logos across 3,500 separate organizations in its 2016 revision. The explosion in the number of smaller, more nimble innovators reflects the last decade’s unquenchable thirst for the next new thing.
But something has changed.
“Ten years ago, digital marketing and advertising was considered experimental. And in an experimental market, our members didn’t always feel compelled to justify trying out a new adtech or martech product with a quantifiable plan to generate returns,” said Lindsay Hutter, DMA’s SVP of Communications and a co-producer of their HOT ZONE startup competition.
A decade later, however, the term “digital” is mainstream. “Now, digital is at the center of all things media, marketing and customer experience. Digital is business … it’s about results. And results are measured,” Lindsay continued. “Which means that marketers, agencies and publishers are losing their appetites for trying out innovation that fails to perform.” This is why it’s harder for startups to get in front of potential customers, and why it’s harder for these customers to invest without a higher-degree of confidence in the potential returns.
So what can these two players do to increase the odds of success? What can the startup do to get in the door, and what can the customer do to increase efficiency in finding performers, while lowering the risk of wasting valuable time and money?
Let’s start by understanding the customer.
“In a typical week, I’ll receive a dozen or more unsolicited emails from startups trying to get an audience with my team,” Kelli Parsons shared with me when we last spoke on the subject. Kelli is SVP and Chief Communications & Marketing Officer at New York Life, an organization that is deeply interested in data-driven, cross-channel consumer engagement. Kelli said that she typically spends her Friday commute scanning email pitches, and that she’ll sometimes pass one of the week’s more promising solicitations to a colleague or two for their opinions. In the course of a year, Kelli estimates that her team invests time for calls with ten startups, and invites about a third for a deeper look, sometimes resulting in a project. Only occasionally do the results lead to a long-term relationship.
“Working with startups can be rewarding, but it’s very time-consuming to find the performers. The earlier-stage companies can be incredibly innovative, and they’re motivated to adapt to our needs.” But Kelli’s team applies the same rigors – including an anticipated ROI calculation – in evaluating a startup’s solution as it does any other potential partner.
“This is why we built DigiTech,” explained Cary Tilds, GroupM’s Chief Innovation Officer. “We wanted to help our agencies improve the signal-to-noise ratio.” DigiTech is GroupM’s internal repository of highly detailed, searchable information on adtech vendors, networks, exchanges and apps. “Before DigiTech,” Cary explained, “it felt like every account team in every agency was burning hours evaluating business partners and vendor solutions independently.” The process is now far more efficient, and the agencies are consolidating their spend with fewer, but higher-quality partners and vendors. “The business is focused on productive testing and learning, rather than on random experimentation.”
Which is why fewer startups are getting invited to the dance.
A decade ago, a startup with some capital and some cool tech could make it through the door. Marketers, agencies and publishers were having fun playing with shiny new objects. Buyers were willing to throw a little time and money behind these ventures with only the smallest regard for ROI-generating performance. High performers still won in the long term, but even the disappointments got an audience. Over time, the bar has been rising slowly. In this past year, it’s been much more dramatic.
Which doesn’t bode well for the chaff.
The odds have always been bad, even for the most promising tech startups. And when buyers raise the bar, the odds get even worse. Except when you can control the odds.
I recommend that my clients bear in mind five strategies, that when used consistently, not only increase the likelihood they’ll be invited to the dance, but improve the odds they’ll end up in long-term relationships. These steps make it easier for buyers to filter out the noise, and give a significant leg-up where it’s deserved.
- Start with “why?” I first heard Simon Sinek advocate starting with why in his 2009 TEDx talk, which so clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of this more emotional opening to the conversation. My personal experience is that the typical startup marketing or sales executive will kick off the conversation by saying something like, “We’re an advertising technology company that does this and that.” And frankly, that opening line could describe hundreds of startups. It is totally non-differentiating. Opening instead with why the startup exists and how it solves a customer need will immediately elevate the conversation. Start by answering “why?
- Really listen to the customer. No matter how good you think you are, the customer is still always right. I’ve heard the argument (often from over-confident startup founders) that customers don’t know what they want or need. I’ll concede that some customers can’t articulate, or even imagine, what an innovative or disruptive solution might look like. But most know when they have a problem that needs solving, and they’ll only buy your services when they believe you can bring a solid solution.
Every startup CEO and CTO must make it a point to engage directly with current and prospective customers. You’ll better align your capabilities with their needs, and you’ll concurrently develop a reputation as a collaborative organization that adapts to the needs of the marketplace. This stands out.
- Invest to earn street-cred. Your ability to ramp up your customer base can be dramatically accelerated when your clients and business partners are extensions of your sales team. And while picking some early advocates as initial clients is helpful, if you can engage with organizations that represent pools of potential customers – for example, agencies, consulting firms, trade groups or industry coalitions – go out of your way to do so, and then focus on aligning your capabilities with their clients’ or members’ needs.
Your demonstration of high-quality capabilities to these groups means access to a pool of future clients. And as a bonus, many of these organizations publish case studies in the trade press, to industry blogs and through internal and external communications across their professional networks. If you’re successful in meeting the organization’s goals, you’ll often get their implicit (and sometimes explicit) stamp of approval.
- Get rid of the “fail fast” culture. Succeed a bit more slowly instead. Since Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz published their 2013 book on the topic, entrepreneurs have been celebrating a culture of trying, failing and quickly moving on. There’s a lot to say for the authors’ advice, but too many startups misinterpret the message.
We’ve all seen startups go down a well-lit path only to give up because of their own inability to execute. Sometimes, these startups mistakenly substitute their execution problems with a strategy problem. If you’ve listened to the customer, and the market is agreeing with your answer to “why?” then keep at it. Focus on execution while staying the course, and you’ll distinguish yourself for the experience you gained along the way.
- And speaking of delivery, make sure to do so … every time! In this market, very few startups get a second chance to close the gap between their promise and delivery. Going to market with puffery is only setting you up for failure.
It is far better to speak the truth and miss an opportunity than to over-promise and disappoint. The number of buyers is significantly smaller than the number of startups. Buyers talk. They confer with one another. Do the diligence on the challenge at hand, and propose a solution you know you can hit out of the park.
Startups that can operationalize these five strategies will more quickly become noticed in the market, and will enjoy longevity (the wheat) as others are thrown away (the chaff). Some argue that the startup marketplace is consolidating. Along with the slowing of capital we began to witness in 2015, the higher-bar for startups are signs of weakness for marketing and advertising technology. I argue quite the opposite. What we’re seeing are the visible signs of maturation. For those technology companies that have a distinctive value proposition, it’s good news. For those startups capable of demonstrating that value, it’s great news.
Since the birth of the Internet as a commercial media platform, startups have led the market in disruption and innovation. We witnessed the explosion of startups filling up real estate on their respective LUMAscapes and Martech Supergraphics, and we’ve all benefited as participants in this high-growth digital media and marketing economy.
What’s happening in the market today is healthy. We’re transitioning from an age of experimentation to a time when words like “digital” and “mobile” are now an integral part of the holistic marketing and media equation. There’s still innovation, and there’s still a significant playing field for disruptive martech and adtech startups. However, while the competitive landscape in the past may have been more tolerant of the under-performers, in 2016, the market is becoming more discerning. What we’re seeing are buyers applying traditional ROI metrics to their innovation budgets. What we’re seeing is a more conscious movement toward separating the wheat from the chaff.
David Kohl is CEO of Morgan Digital Ventures, a strategy and operations consultancy that grows digital businesses. David has nearly 25 years of experiencing delivering top-line revenue growth and improved operational performance to some of the world’s largest entertainment companies, global advertising agencies, early-stage digital media service providers and several media industry trade organizations, including the DMA, for whom he leads DMA’s HOT ZONE startup competition. David was formerly the Advertising Sector Leader with Ernst & Young’s Media and Entertainment Advisory Practice, and prior, was a member of PwC’s Global Entertainment, Media and Communications Advisory leadership team.
Originally Posted on ImageThink.
How do you survive in a content driven world? Storytelling is integral, but you don’t have to do it all by yourself. At Ad Club‘s Media: Now 2016 conference, ImageThink was graphic recording the Masters of Media Panel. Attendees received valuable insights into engagement, integration and smart partnerships when telling their stories.
- Creative agencies are storytellers, the trend now is letting the CONSUMERS tell the story
- Make smart strategic partners
- Focusing on ART will change the future of marketing in agencies
- The INDUSTRY has to be the content
- Cross brain your teams! It is all about agility: diversify your team and problem solve quickly like a small creative agency
We are all about content, so it was a perfect match to work with Ad Club on this event. Attendees responded well to the real-time capture of the tactics discussed, and we loved hearing what the speakers had to say.
By Charlene Weisler
Originally Posted on MediaVillage.
We are entering the age of advertising creativity and while it may feel disruptive and challenging, it is also exciting and inspiring. That was the message yesterday from the Ad Club’s Media:Now conference.
As with other parts of the media industry, agencies are experiencing transformative change. It is no longer enough to ply spots and dots in siloed media. Agencies that succeed are employing a range of innovative, creative driven solutions to better connect with their consumers and, ultimately, reinforce the brand personality and drive sales. “We need to reach out beyond the traditional media plan,” explained Rob Rakowitz, Director of Global Media for Mars, Inc.
Jack Myers, Chairman of MediaVillage and a noted media ecologist, spoke of the future-looking trends impacting our industry. “We are entering the golden age of advertising creative,” he stated. “The economics around content are challenged and questioned. We are dealing with a lot of issues in an age of algorithms, data science, ad-blocking, ad clutter and ad avoidance. If we make it all science and too little art, advertising becomes moot and irrelevant. The emphasis on ad creative is pivotal.”
But concentrating on ad creative is challenging. Alison Tarrant, Executive Vice President, Client Partnerships Group, NBCUniversal explained, “We have been in the custom content space for many years. What has changed is how we need to adapt high quality TV creative to advertising and be nimble across platforms. How we can be faster, cheaper, better. Being nimble in the market is one of our biggest challenges. The need to develop creative at a high production level is another big challenge.”
But there are many success stories; companies such as Mars and Mondelez presented their efforts on creating content that serves both the consumers’ need for entertainment and engagement as well as the advertisers’ need for reinforcing and strengthening the brand personality and maximizing ROI.
Mars – Reaching Out Beyond the Traditional Media Plan
“We at Mars are expanding role of media beyond mass reach,” Rakowitz explained. To do this, the company needed to get a sense of the “Mars journey” – the blurring of lines between commerce, data and creative and driving the idea of more convergent media. “How it [effects] content, weaves into tech and how it drives commerce,” he added. “We look at outcomes, not just outputs to drive brand growth.”
Mars contends with a range of “mores” — more data, platforms and disruptions. “It is a confusing, exciting, exhilarating time to work in this space, trying to make sense of it all,” Rakowitz admitted. Some examples of how Mars is serving change include its work in creating online vignettes for Twix and cooking demonstrations to show the value of adding grains to a meal for a specific Uncle Ben’s packaged rice product. Rakowitz says Mars strives for two vectors: “Timeless and timely. Timeless tells a consistent brand story that is enduring and memorable and timely brings in the moment and driving talk ability.”
Mondelez – Building Dragons, Not Unicorns
Mondelez’ Chief Media and eCommerce Officer B. Bonin Bough demonstrated that even an established brand like Oreo can expand its brand story and make it relevant and valuable to today’s consumer. “Disruption sits on the shoulder of giants,” Bough explained. “You needed Hilton to get to Airbnb and Henry Ford to Uber vs taxis.” In the case of Oreo, Mondelez allowed customers to design their own custom packaging and then directly shipped the product to the consumer. “It is all about communicating to customers. Even a cookie can sit in the chain from disruption to wonder,” he added. “It could change a brand forever.”
Oreo celebrated Gay Pride in 2012 with Rainbow icing layers demonstrating that a cookie could have a point of view on culture. In 2014 Mondelez used a 3-D printer to print a customized Oreo based on current trends. “We are planting the seed of innovation and building ‘mass custom,’” he said. “There is a huge opportunity for disruption.”
But finding and nurturing the right talent is a big challenge. Bough admits that, “Right now everyone is looking for unicorns, but few unicorns survive past five years. We have a unique opportunity to build dragons, not unicorns. We need to reskill our entire organization in order to disrupt in a large corporation. We need to find a coalition of the willing: Those in the organization who want to bring about change. We need intra-preneurs, and to celebrate those in organizations who bring about change like we celebrate outside entrepreneurs.”
The disruptive future looks bright for companies like Mars and Mondelez. But more needs to be done. As Jack Myers concluded, “We need to bring more young people and more multiculturalism into our business. Our business must reflect the audience we are talking to.”
Image at top courtesy of Corbis. The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage/MyersBizNet management or associated bloggers.