ANA Masters Of Media: Are Marketers Missing The Forest For The Trees?

Forrester-ProgMarketers love data, but there are still ways it can fail them.

Marketers need to push themselves and their agencies to be accountable for sales, not false metrics often used as proxies for actual sales, said speakers at the ANA’s Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, Fla., this week.

“My No. 1 goal is to align agency and client objectives,” said Humberto Muccilli, category manager for global marketing procurement at pharma company Bristol-Myers Squibb. That means agencies are driving to the same things the marketers ultimately want: sales.

For all the talk about data, it can fail marketers in multiple ways. It’s not unusual for marketers to see positive metrics from their agency, but declines in sales.

Or marketers who want to experiment with newer, less measurable forms of marketing can feel pushback from others who want more reliable, tested forms of marketing.

Because Taco Bell is focused on reaching a millennial audience, it frequently is the first advertiser in new mobile apps that often lack measurement.

“Don’t be afraid for the measurement to catch up, because a lot of this has to be your gut instinct,” said Juliet Corsinita, VP of media and brand partnerships, at the conference. “While I would love for measurement to be expanded, you can’t wait. You have to use the instincts you know.”

But while Taco Bell can’t always measure the impact of a campaign in a place like Snapchat, it looks at sales data regularly. “It’s great that someone engaged with our ad, but did we sell enough tacos today?” said Taco Bell media director Cheryl Gresham.

But even where data is available, are marketers drawing the right conclusions?

During a speech at the conference, Internet personality and Vaynerchuk Media founder Gary Vaynerchuk argued that marketing objectives don’t often align with sales. “We trade on data that can be manipulated to do anything you want,” he said.

He railed against programmatic, saying the ad exchanges trade on math that doesn’t add up, and that banner ads – because of their intrusiveness – have a negative impact on sales. Vaynerchuk also said marketers – often under the directive of the CEO – spend too much on TV and expect other mediums to be measured and perform just like TV does.

While marketers in attendance sympathized with his points, many were reluctant to discount the effectiveness – and predictability – of traditional media.

“I don’t agree that TV and banner ads are nonsense as he portrays,” Muccilli said. Sure, TV is “less effective than it was decades ago, but it’s still a powerful channel.”

Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group, also argued banner ads are effective in certain situations.

Marketers are also breaking new ground in measuring media that wouldn’t have been measurable before.

Nissan, which has an all-encompassing college football partnership with ESPN, has been using Rentrak to measure when its stadium billboards appear on the screen, according to Jeremy Tucker, VP of marketing communications and media for Nissan.

Its “Heisman House” campaign – a mix of multiple forms of media, from TV to experiential – not only garnered millions of impressions in various activations, it drove the bottom line too: It was directly responsible for 2% of Nissan’s sales.

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1 Comment

  1. Don’t be too quick to dismiss Gary Vaynerchuk’s views on the impact of social media and social media’s ability to integrate directly into CRM and/or POS. You can’t get more accountability than POS results. TV still has power, but the flaws are adding up. However, consider how a global advertisers target their brand’s core customer? Buying broad demographics groups A18-49 or A25-54 is archaic and ignores what brands understand in ethnographic studies and real-time research where actions, comments,sentiment, and word-of-mouth offer valuable feedback. Social media for brands requires a lot more work than buying TV off a Nielsen ranker to reach a broad demographic group like adults 18-49 that is a demo range too large to think that and 18-24 group will respond to the same marketing as the 34-49 portion of that demo category. Unfortunately, effectiveness measurement requires deeper insights and different work-flow to get actionable feedback. Social media is both a marketing tool and real-time analysis of customer feedback or feedback about the brands top competitors. The ANA group is the right place for this debate. There is real proof of top global brands like J&J who are making internal ,cultural changes about digital and social media to improve effectiveness of marketing and improve overall P&L performance. Programmatic is all about speed and less about effectiveness. If you believe in the effectiveness of display advertising in general, we will simply agree to disagree. Social media giants are studying 1-1 customer data every second of every day. Television is studying Nielsen data in different formats, but it is still using a 75 year old demographic approach from samples that are scientifically to small. There are 200 million Facebook subscribers in the US with targeting and audience analysis data that forces accountability and effectiveness to different performance standards present more effective brand analytics and results. There was no discussion in your post about the changes in the customer’s path to purchase which is different for different products, but totally different than the marketing funnel created in the mid 20th century for off-line and TV advertising. Reference McKinsey’s article about J&J’s cultural shift to digital and social to a more holistic approach driven by social media impacts. For Listerine brand, J&J changed a ongstanding strategic philosophy of producing two or three TV commercials per year to taking in-house producing teams to the World Cup where they produced 200 video messages for social media at the World Cup in real-time!. Marketing shifts are usually gradual. Consumers are changing patterns of media consumption from linear TV , to on-demand TV or OTT/ IP Channels and video on-line and mobile. CMO’s are spending more time on mobile and social media strategies based on evidence collected from research. Mobile has created new distribution channels for new video formats for advertisers to place on brand new social media marketing channels. Gary Vaynerchuk was probably presenting advanced social media technique that he has developed over eight year which can be validated with results, but if you are accustomed to listening to traditional CMO presentations at ANA Gary would sound like a computer scientist explaining the positives and negatives of coding. I don’t know Gary Vaynerchuk or Guy Kawalski but they have made brands of themselves in social media strategy. Disparaging either them would be like saying Warren Buffet really doesn’t know much about financial investing.