Programmatic media buying is on the verge of a new era built on collaboration.

This was the key thread in the panel session on the future of programmatic run in association with digital advertising technology provider PubMatic at The Drum’s Agencies 4 Growth Festival. Watch the fascinating panel here.

Although advertising as a whole has been battered by the pandemic, the use of programmatic media buying continues to increase. At the beginning of October, IAB Europe published its 2020 Attitudes to Programmatic survey, which showed that the number of advertisers spending more than 41% of their display budget through programmatic channels had increased from 55% in 2019 to 77% in 2020. Similarly, the number spending more than 41% of their video advertising budget programmatically grew from 50% in 2019 to 54% in 2020.

As programmatic grows, the way it’s being managed continues to change. The IAB survey found that the number of advertisers using hybrid models, where brands bring some elements of programmatic buying in-house, supplemented with agency expertise, had doubled since 2019 to almost a third. In-housing of programmatic, meanwhile, fell from 38% of advertisers in 2019 to 20% in 2020.

Speaking on The Drum panel, Richard Kanolik, programmatic lead at Vodafone, put this change down to the growing level of programmatic expertise. Programmatic used to be a “black box” tended by the agency, he said, but now advertisers want more visibility and control of their media buy, and they can hire in the people to deliver that.

But he argued that there’s still a need for agencies to fill in the gaps.

“Advertisers can underestimate what’s required to bring programmatic in house,” he said. “Hence the hybrid model.”

This view was backed up by Chris Camacho, chief performance officer at Mindshare. He pointed out that in-housing involves more than just a deal with a DSP provider.

“You also need to think about the set-up, data, tools and talent,” he said. “It’s not easy, but with the right infrastructure, the right support and the right agency, it can be done. There’s a lot of value to having a guide.”

Lisa Kalyuzhny, senior director, advertising solutions, EMEA at PubMatic agreed that working together is crucial, both across the business and between the business and its agencies.

“It’s about knowing what your strengths are as a brand, and being able to use the people you have on the ground internally as well the agency, and being able to really collaborate. That’s where we’ve seen the most success,” she said.

But brands and agencies working together isn’t the only form of collaboration that’s changing programmatic buying. Kalyuzhny pointed out that the introduction of header bidding revealed to advertisers that they could be using 20 or 30 different partners to buy the same inventory, and they started asking themselves what the benefit was.

“Supply Path Optimisation has become a catchphrase for many different adtech initiatives. At the core, it’s about buyers understanding and optimising supply. To deliver better media buying and selling strategies, the collaborative relationships and understanding of both buyers’ and sellers’ goals are a must have,” she said. “In digital advertising, brands and publishers are ultimately working towards the same goal: creating a transparent programmatic set-up that optimises consumers’ ad experiences and values inventory at a fair price for all.”

Kanolik argued that programmatic’s transparency problems were self-inflicted, the result of an infant industry prioritising technology and innovation at the expense of clarity. But he also said that buy and sell sides know that transparency is crucial to programmatic maturing as a medium, and that awareness is bringing the two sides together.

“For programmatic to evolve into a trusted medium, transparency is key,” he said. “We’re moving towards that, and it will kick off a new era of programmatic advertising.”

To watch the entire panel discussion on the future of programmatic media buying, presented in partnership with PubMatic, click here.


Sourced from The Drum

By .

The somber, early pandemic ads with lilting pianos became something of a running joke. But they did raise the question of whether brands can successfully sell while focusing on negative topics. Mars’ consumer insights lead Sorin Patilinet says extensive neuroscience studies show that leaning into negativity often leads to bad results.

Many people have a negative enough reaction to seeing a video advertisement, period. So layering on a narrative that involves negative emotions is only making matters worse, right? Probably, according to Sorin Patilinet, global consumer marketing insights director, Mars, Inc.

The Mars team has been running one of the largest neuromarketing studies in the world these past five years. It has studied more than 700 ads in an effort to determine which evoke emotions that, in turn, build memory structures that are recalled at the point of purchase. Throughout this study, Patilinet has found that eliciting negative emotions is a tricky proposition. Here, he tells us why:

The negativity must be brief

“If there is a negative emotion, it has to be resolved very quickly or be a set up for something to laugh at,“ says Patilinet. “If not, you’re going to lose a lot of people along the way.”

He cites Cesar ’Love them back’ as an example of an ad that performed poorly because the negativity didn’t resolve fast enough.

The brand cannot be associated with down moment

“If negativity is used in a story arc, you want to show the brand at the moment of highest, positive emotion. You don’t want to showcase a brand during the downturn, but instead bring it in as a hero at the end.”

M&M’s ’Eating in bed’ scored well in this scenario.

Short ad formats are tricky for story arcs

“The challenge is that consumers prefer shorter formats where is it is difficult, but not impossible, to build emotional content.

“You have six seconds on YouTube, so there’s basically no time to create a story. We tried continuing a story by retargeting the same person with the next episode. The idea was great, but the execution at scale didn’t live up to the promise.”

You risk damaging your brand

“The worst thing that could happen is you make a negative imprint. Then, the consumer ends up correlating the brand with something negative, which you don’t want.”

Attention for the sake of attention doesn’t work

“We are looking for ‘polite attention’. We aren’t turning your screen yellow and bumping up our logo against you just to grab that attention, because we know that doesn’t help for the long-term.”

Creating ads for the Covid-19 moment is short sighted

“It’s difficult to try and nail creative for the moment. We believe in running executions for a long time rather than jumping on the Covid-19 ad bandwagon. The general truths and the humour we have used for our brands still resonate today. It takes years for a good ad to decay.”

Overall, Patilinet says the reality is that ads are becoming more practical because of the restrictions of the ad duration. “In shorter ads, the level of emotion declines, which is a challenge because we know that emotions that create memories can lead to sales. Creating a three-second Facebook execution is just your logo and a headline. That doesn’t elicit too much emotion, unfortunately. Those are the ads that are actually seen by consumers, not the ones that are featured in the advertising trades.”

Feature Image Credit: M&M’s “Eating in bed” scored well because it resolved a negative situation quickly.


Sourced from The Drum


Traditionally, retailers have leaned by a small margin toward direct-response advertising, rather than branding. Thus, we expect retail will slightly exceed the US digital ad spending average in search, but not display, this year. The industry will, nonetheless, be extremely balanced in allocating its digital ad dollars, splitting them almost evenly between formats, and within formats as well.

Retailers will spend $13.53 billion on digital display advertising in 2020, a marginal uptick of 2.3% from 2019. Display will represent 47.9% of the vertical’s overall digital ad spending, compared with search’s 47.5%. This is right in line with the display-to-search ratio that retail has seen over the past few years.

Of the $13.53 billion in display spend, video will claim $6.55 billion, a balanced 48.4% of the format’s digital ad dollars. Video’s share of retail’s display spending has skyrocketed from 28.1% in 2016 to nearly 50% this year, a surge that can be attributed to the emergence of viable connected TV (CTV) ad opportunities and the recent popularity of video advertising in social media.

The retail industry will spend 4.8% more on search ads in 2020. At $13.42 billion, that’s a healthy 24.7% of total US search ad spending.

Though retailers will increase ad spend in these formats, these increases signify dramatic decelerations when compared with 2019 figures. The coronavirus and the ensuing recession have constrained ad spending growth for nearly every industry, and retail is no exception. Display and search spending in the retail category, however, should rebound nicely next year. We forecast that the industry will see 27.8% growth for display and 24.6% growth for search in 2021.

As a vertical, retail will probably always have a wide range of brands and products that will find value in both search and display advertising. Retail and ad industry insiders regularly offer a vast—and, at times, contradictory—array of opinions about how retailers prefer to allocate their digital ad budgets, which speaks to the great diversity within retail. In containing these multitudes, no other vertical we cover but retail will spread its digital ad dollars quite so evenly.


Sourced from eMarketer

By Tim Hughes.

Another day, and another part of the old analogue world dies.  Digital transformation accelerated by Covid19.

Coupon clipping is on the way out according to this article and Argos, the stalwart of the catalogue world, has just killed it’s catalogue.

It looks like iOS14 will hammer another nail in the coffin of advertising.

We’ve already seen the demise of cold calling through the introduction of GDPR and iOS13.  GDPR also having an impact on email marketing.

So while it is a long time before “advertising”, “cold calling” and “email marketing” can be called dead.  We know that the results we get deminise each year.  The only way you can keep up the results is to spend more money on ads, send more emails and make more calls.

Which we know, adds (no pun intended) to the noise.  If every company makes the same increase, the cross industry noise just increases, which means more people will turn to ad-blockers, unsubscribe and turn on the cold calling blockers on their iPhone.

As advertising, email and cold calling go the same way as coupons and catalogues, is there an alternative?

We can present to your management team an alternative that world beating companies are turning to.

What would that look like?

Social Media Has Changed How We Live and Work

At DLA Ignite a presentation will consist of some context, so research that shows the way that social media has changed the way we live and the way we work.

We are not saying things have changed, the figures from the research show how the world has changed.  For example …

We Have Transformed In Work and Play on Social

In this report by Simon Kemp he outlines the extent that social media has become part of our lives.

Linkedin have just announced there are now 706 million people on Linkedin.

How You Can Make a Difference?

We then talk about how you can make a difference.

Using ourselves as a case study, we show you what we do to “social sell”.  We don’t advertise, we don’t cold call and we don’t send spam emails.  We social sell.

We always point out that we are presenting to the Board of the business, through our own use of social.

Explaining with examples, of how we use social, is a great case study.  Everybody who works for DLA Ignite has to be a “high water mark” of social. Why? Because if we are to stand up in front of your sales team and say “do this”, it will be a short conversation if we are not exhibiting those behaviours.

(Somebody just launched a social selling business this week by sending an email.  Would you really buy from a company that sold social selling, that didn’t use social selling?)

What are Your Competitors Doing on Social?

Next we show how your competitors are using social.  Everybody is interested in what their competitors are doing and we can show you an analysis of what your competitors are doing.  Most of them are invisible to the digital customer, so this allows you to see the competitive advantage and revenue potential.  If you move into the digital space, you are out manoeuvring and out selling the competition, which is a good thing, right?

Who’s Doing This? – Case Studies

We then walk you through the companies and the people that are doing this already.  The actual $ the people have achieved.

I often write about BMW, while this is B2C it is a considered purchase and they use LinkedIn to generate leads.  In November 2019, they got 28 pieces of inbound from Linkedin and converted 14 of them. Let’s assume a BMW is $50,000, then that’s an additional $700,000 of revenue for zero marketing spend.

This is in the same month that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) complained they couldn’t make any sales and were closing down production.

My point being that even before Covid19 there was clear winners and losers.

We do have NDAs in place with all of our clients, as you can imagine this is a massive competitive advantage, but there are details, like the one above, we can share.

If anybody tells you there is no Return on Investment (ROI) from social selling, they don’t know what they are talking about.

Next we talk about the opportunity and show a list of target accounts … companies that you currently don’t have relationships with, you could sell to with social and digital.

Target List and Accounts and People

In this meeting it ended up with us giving a presentation on Sales Navigator.  Not a technical presentation, but focused on your business.  Using certain search criteria, we pulled up a list of 800 people all of whom are possible target people / companies.  They are all are people that could buy from you.  It surprised this business, that they were not connected to any of the people.  Again, this gives you some idea of the potential you have.

Where Do We Go From Here?

At the end of the meeting the MD stood up and thanked our person and said “We went into lockdown analogue, but we will come out of it digital”.

Obviously at this point a company needs to decide how they implement this.

We think that having being do this for 4 years, we are no fly by night company, it gives us a great track record.  We have a proven methodology and all our customers get results.  The methodology is repeatable and predictable as to the results.  We are giving people a life skill, so they and you get these results, forever.

And finally, it’s all we do.

If you went for knee surgery and found the best knee surgeon in the world, then that would be perfect.  If the knee surgeon said they were also a ini cab driver and a gardener.  In fact, the longer the list of “services” he provides the more likely you won’t use him.  The same goes for your “full service marketing agency”.  I’m sorry, but they are not experts on social.  But all you have to do is look at their social profiles and compare them with ours.

How We Experienced 10 years’ Worth of Digital Growth in Just Three Months

We all know the world has changed and the fact we have “experienced 10 years’ worth of digital growth in just three months” just proves you cannot be doing the same as you were, pre-covid.

You have to stand up in your organisation and tell people that things have to change.  You need to raise as sales meetings, management meetings, leadership meetings and board meetings that you need to be social selling.

And you need help from a reputable company that understands change and is totally focused on getting results, though social, for it’s clients.

By Tim Hughes.

I’m contactable here


Sourced from dla


Does marketing have the power to change the world? The year 2020 has forced us all to redress the net result of the industrial revolution, which spurred mass consumption and throw-away consumerism. So, can our industry – with the abundance of talent, skill and creativity- champion for a better future for all?

The Drum and Facebook have partnered to bring together teams from brands and agencies across the globe to provide some answers to this very challenging question. The idea is to get together experts from the industry to find solutions to business and societal challenges to help create value for the people and the communities it impacts.

The creative brief

Uniting three markets under the theme of ‘stakeholder capitalism’ – with attention to inclusion and diversity – three separate teams in North America, EMEA and APAC were put together to answer the brief that involves a rethink of how small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs) that are run by minorities operate, and how as an industry we can help create more resilient businesses especially in these unprecedented times.

Each of the three regions were given three separate briefs – The US (North America) team’s brief is to focus on women run SMEs. So how to overcome systemic social and financial challenges while starting and sustaining female-led businesses? Do they need to approach entrepreneurship differently?

For the London, UK (EMEA) team the theme was immigrant-led small business. Are immigrant-owned businesses the untapped potential? What are the challenges and opportunities of migrant founders and their businesses?

The theme for the APAC team is silver start-ups. A growing number of over-65s are now delaying retirement by starting their own firm, fueling a ‘grey business’ boom. What are their challenges, can we identify the most pertinent ones and solve those problems?

The first meet-up

Each of the teams kicked off their first virtual brainstorm session to find a campaign solution that would positively impact the lives of minority groups operating in the SME market. Each of the teams were also given mentors to help guide through the process.

Following is the list of the three teams:

Team US

  • Tom Spaven, brand director, Bombay Sapphire, North America (mentor)
  • Stephanie Walker, innovation marketing manager, Pepsico
  • Cassie Begalle, strategy and innovation brand Manager – U by Kotex, Kimberly-Clark
  • Iyanni Callender, junior art director, Strawberry Frog
  • Paola Ortega, associate strategy director, DDB Chicago
  • Michael Rodriguez, content strategist, 3 Leches Creative

Team UK

  • Arjoon Bose, marketing head- culture & brand experience (Europe-Australasia), General Mills (mentor)
  • Andre Campbell, partnerships lead, Mercedes-Benz
  • Fatima Diez, head of marketing, MunchFit
  • Shannie Mears, co-founder & talent chief, The Elephant Room
  • Jade Nodinot, former creative associate, BlackBook London
  • Emma Luxton, former senior account executive, Avantgarde London


  • Erica Kerner, SVP, marketing strategy & partnerships, ONE Championship (mentor)
  • Triveni Rajagopal, global digital director, skin cleansing and BPC, Unilever
  • Chandini Malla, senior manager, Diageo
  • Bryan Martin, social media executive, Reprise Digital
  • Adrianne Pan, planner, Havas Singapore

Team US: A fact-finding mission

Gender equality is at risk of being set back decades in the current climate – not just minorities in general, but especially women in it. In the US, the focus is on women-owned SMEs, looking at how female-led businesses can overcome systemic social and financial challenges, as well as addressing the different approaches that this cohort might have to entrepreneurship in order to succeed.

One such challenge was posed by keynote speaker Victoria Monsul Singolda, owner and creative director of Iris & Virgil, who discussed that though it might be true that for women-led businesses, their vulnerabilities as women and as small business owners are compounded, there needs to be a gender-smart approach because not all women-led businesses are the same.

“I never really thought of myself as a female business owner, I’m just a business owner. Maybe because my mother was very dominant in the household, she was a student, she was a business owner, she was a mum, we always saw her, we were always together. Maybe that’s why I never thought that there was something different or special being a girl.”

Headed up by mentor Tom Spaven from Bombay Sapphire, the team immediately honed into “resilience” and “impact” as the insights towards this gender-smart approach.

The team delved into discussions to align on common goals and objectives. The first step was to focus on the challenges in order to find the most creative solution – with three key take-aways that these women are lacking: Knowledge and resources to tap into; a community to help them venture into this new world; and platforms available to really share and have people learn more about.

The team then decided that the initial insight-led approach would begin with a fact-finding mission to assess the situation and the scale of the problem that the campaign needed to solve; followed by the consumer insight to understand the deep motivations and needs of the target to ultimately give the barrier they need to start to push against in order to solve the problem; and finally, culture listening around this topic – all of which would help to get a clear, sharpened brief about the real problem they are trying to solve.

Team EMEA: Move from ‘pivot to evolve’

On the other side of the Atlantic, Team EMEA, led by mentor Arjoon Bose from General Mills, tackled the untapped potential of ethnic minority and immigrant-owned founders, their challenges and opportunities.

“The last few months have been testing and I think we’ve all come up with a ton of learning. But I think we’re at that stage right now where we’re needing to move from pivot to evolve,” said Bose. “A growth mindset is what we’re going to have to need as we come out of this and prepare to get stronger and accelerate.”

After hearing from keynote speakers Sharon Jandu, director, Yorkshire Asian Business Association and director, Northern Asian Power List; and Steph Douglas, founder, Don’t Buy Her Flowers, it was clear that a heavy emphasis on networking, relationships and experiences, along with access to digital technologies, were key in bringing this community together.

“For an SME, they are so busy doing what they do that they don’t have the time or the capacity to think about what they can do – or they don’t have the networks to enable them to get the contacts to get investments or to get ideas. They are constantly running on a treadmill, trying to do and keep what they are doing alive. How can we stop them becoming so absorbed in their business that they can actually distance themselves and look at it from an aerial perspective?” asked Jandu.

The team identified the need to listen and learn directly from migrant-led business owners themselves to understand their experience, their struggles and challenges with direct feedback through focus groups and on-the-ground research. This would allow them to narrow down into one or two sectors that need the drive and support. They identified Facebook’s own small business community as a great place to start to create a questionnaire in order to gain invaluable insights to help shape their strategy.

“The opportunity that digital gives us to connect these immigrant-owned businesses with each other and provide each other with their own experience and their own knowledge can be a very valuable thing that we could leverage if it’s relevant to their challenge,” said Fatima Diez.

Team APAC: Reinventing and re-energising culture

With a growing number of over 65s now delaying retirement and fuelling a ‘grey business’ boom, the focus for Team APAC was on overcoming the challenges faced by the silver start-ups, particularly when it comes to navigating through the coronavirus pandemic.

Mentored by Erica Kerner from ONE Championship, the team was presented with a keynote talk by Jeremy Nguee, founder, Preparazzi Gourmet Catering; Batu Lesung Spice Company; who helped his mother set up Mrs. Kueh, a local sweet treat business. They touched upon some of the unique experiences and challenges of their business that they ran from home.

Hoping to learn from this experience and translate these lessons to help support silver entrepreneurs and home-based businesses through his volunteering role in the Hawkers United Facebook community, Nguee said: “I think this is going to be a very, very big market. There are a lot more home-based businesses coming up because of high unemployment in the market.”

Inspired by the talk, the team decided to focus on Singapore food culture and food service industry run by silver entrepreneurs, that has an international dimension throughout much of its history but continues to retain features firmly rooted in the locality so that the global and local are not always distinct. The team wanted to understand the different segments of businesses and the landscape in which they were working in.

“The complexities of Asia, the complexities of the segment, the types of digital, could become such a beast,” says Kerner. “My instinct is to start with the data. Starting a business now, no matter what your age is a challenge and a lot of small businesses are obviously struggling to survive. We’ve got a lot of things to think about. What aspect of this do we want to try to unbuckle?” asked Kerner. “In Singapore we are losing a lot of that Hawker culture and if we can find a way to re energise it, and bring more people back into it, it’s good for all of Singapore culture.”

The next steps

Over the upcoming weeks, the teams will continue to work on their campaign and then subsequently present the big idea for solving that problem.

The final ideas will be entered in The Drum Social Purpose Awards.

The Drum consulting editor, Sonoo Singh, said: I’m inspired to see the true power of marketing when used to promote issues that are critical to our societies, persuade a change in behaviours, and influence a positive shift in behavior that would benefit our environment. Having been involved with all the teams, I cannot wait to see the final outcome of this very challenging brief.”


Sourced from The Drum

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned out to be one of the most significant disruptive events witnessed by this generation. From mainstreaming remote working, cutting global travel to a comprehensive digital shift, the outbreak has changed the way businesses are executed.

One of the most notable elements of this transformation is the way organisations have been forced to embrace digital marketing to be able to survive the crisis and transform the way they attract and engage customers and clients.

As people are forced to stay indoors, there has been a shift to a space where businesses and customers interact less physically and more through the online route. There has been a surge in organisations seeking to create new websites or update existing ones, creating elaborate social media campaigns and launching new e-commerce channels. Intelligent content creation and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) are other elements that are receiving fresh focus. Organisations that embrace this transformation quickly and more comprehensively are the ones that are more likely to survive. Here are some phases of entrepreneurship that are adjusting to the “new normal”:

The age of webinars: As live conferences and face-to-face activities take a back seat, organisations are working out new ways to engage with customers. Webinars have emerged as a popular way to achieve digital thought-leadership and getting quality leads. At the same time, customer engagement is also taking place within these digital discussions. That’s why there is a sea of webinars to spread the message. Even when the crisis ebbs, people are likely to continue to conduct part of their thought-leadership events through webinars, as they serve the same purpose at a fraction of the cost. Webinars have filled the gap of traditional conferences and are likely to become a mainstream marketing strategy.

Increased usage of data analytics: As organisations increase their digital presence, the importance of creating useful databases has increased. With people spending more time on social media, their chances of seeing advertisements on such platforms or coming in touch with content marketing blogs are greater. This is why organisations now need to create valuable databases, analyse them and use this information intelligently to reach out to the target audience. Tracking the pattern of consumer behaviour, online traffic patterns, analysing which content retains the customer and getting a break up of which products are enticing what type of customers are essential elements of data analytics that organisations need to use to boost their online sales.

Content is the king: Businesses must focus on expanding their social media presence by creating intelligent and attractive content. With the shift from outbound to inbound marketing, it becomes essential to engage consumers in subjects they might find interesting. However, content distributed on social media should not be only promotional in nature; it must be knowledge and awareness-based as well. It must engage consumers emotionally through human interest stories rather than blatantly promoting the product.

By Narendra Shyamsukha.

Sourced from THE HINDU


Marketing holds a unique place in the modern world; it has the ability to challenge and shape perspectives, to inform culture and to kickstart movements.

Now, in a time of global crisis, we see more clearly than ever the industry’s ability to effect real change, by driving positive messages and offering platforms to those that need it.

It is in the spirit of this fundamental belief that The Drum and Facebook have teamed up to launch the ‘Marketers Can Change the World’ global initiative, which aims to unite and support the industry across three areas: EMEA, North America and APAC.

At its heart, Facebook exists to help create and sustain communities, even from a distance. Now, during Covid-19, that distance is felt more than ever. Pledging to donate $100mn to 30,000 small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs) across these markets, Facebook will support established and rising marketing leaders to rethink how these businesses are run and how we can make them more resilient in times of struggle.

Discussing the exciting new initiative and how marketing can effect positive change in the world is; General Mills marketing head- culture & brand experience (Europe-Australasia), Arjoon Bose, Bombay Sapphire brand director, North America, Tom Spaven, Facebook global industry relations and intelligence lead, Sylvia Zhou, and The Drum associate editor, Sonoo Singh.

What steps have been taken?

“You’ll have seen the Coronavirus Information Centre located at the top of your news feed from the start of the pandemic,” says Zhou. “This was introduced so that our users are up-to-date with news and developments, from a source they can trust.” Facebook has also offered free ads to public health authorities such as the W.H.O, created Community Help where people can support their peers and recently launched Facebook Shops to help users pivot their business online.

Spaven speaks of Bacardi’s commitment to their consumers during this trying period: “The bar and events industry was particularly impacted by Covid-19, so we wanted to give back to the businesses that have continually supported our business.” The project pledged $3mn in financial aid to bars and bartenders facing difficulty during this period, as well as offering up their platforms and marketing expertise for those that need it. For Bacardi, it was a case of serving those that serve them; an idea also seen at General Mills. With the enforcement of lockdown, Bose understood that it was essential to reiterate the kitchen as being the heart of the home and to promote the everyday products needed by families.

What more can bigger brands do to provide support?

“Now is the time to be bold and responsible,” Bose responds. Marketing has always been at the forefront of significant change. He argues that during these difficult times marketing gives consumers a reason to spend and a reason to hope. Now is the time to reiterate brand identity.

Spaven believes that going back to basics is the surest way to engage your consumer base. “The fundamentals of marketing, as well as of human behavior don’t change, only budgets and resources do.”

What are the objectives of the Facebook project?

The ‘Marketers Can Change the World’ global initiative supports small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs) across EMEA, North America and APAC and will focus predominantly on those run by immigrants, senior citizens, or women. “Statistics show that businesses run by these marginalized groups encounter more difficulties in acquiring resources and financial funding,” Zhou shares with us. The project will give rising stars in the marketing industry the opportunity to collaborate with senior mentors with vast experience in the field. Working together on a prescribed brief, the teams will create business policies that give value for the people and communities they impact. Facebook will provide essential training and access to tools that will allow these businesses to thrive both during and after the pandemic.

What knowledge will the mentors be able to impart?

Both Arjoon Bose and Tom Spaven express their sincere gratitude at having been asked to take part in the initiative as mentors. “This is a great opportunity to listen and learn from others, and to experience situations in a new way,” Spaven says. These views are echoed by Bose, who recognizes this opportunity to collaborate with different people and teams, as a teaching moment.

“I hope to be able to provide a fresh perspective to the team members and ask the right questions,” shares Spaven. This initiative lets teams combine the quick thinking of big brands with the even quicker movement of smaller, more centralised businesses.

At the heart of this, is our consumers- and their needs are changing rapidly. How are brands able to keep pace with this?

“Brands have to always be open to change,” states Bose. “Whether that’s remaining open to rethinking your retention strategy, trying out new tools or reprioritizing your products in line with consumer needs- we must be agile.”

Similarly, for Spaven businesses should always be thinking about their brand experience and how this meets customer needs. “Purpose is so important for every brand, but that doesn’t mean they all have to save the world,” he affirms. Understanding your brand’s mission and ensuring you deliver that, ethically and responsibly is enough.

Spaven adds that diversifying the industry needs to be a top priority if we are to truly meet the demands of today’s consumer; “It’s not about ticking a box, it’s about benefitting your bottom line- it’s just good business sense.”

Zhou agrees: “This mission is at the core of what Facebook wants to achieve in this initiative. By channelling our every effort into increasing the visibility of these groups, we want to create a ripple effect throughout the industry. This project will reveal the true power of marketing to influence for good and change the world for the better.”


Sourced from The Drum


With Isba’s study revealing that 15% of digital ad spend is unaccounted for, a statistic from the PwC-produced report that prompted headlines, Damon Reeve, chief executive of The Ozone Project, offers his first-hand insight into what this means for the programmatic sector.

The results from Isba’s Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study, carried out by PwC and in association with the AOP, have practically self-penned the industry’s headlines for the past few days.

“Missing billions”, “big holes”, “the unknown delta”, “mind-boggling” – perhaps not the usual words used to describe a positive first step, yet that’s exactly what this report represents. If, as an industry, we want to create a more sustainable, future-proofed environment for digital advertising we must first acknowledge that things aren’t working as they are. These results certainly speak to what many people already know, and reinforces the need for change.

As we look to create a blueprint for that change, it is a great step forward that it has been driven by advertisers and publishers – as the principal architects – alongside their respective trade bodies. Reversing the trend of disintermediation by programmatic tech vendors, and working together to find their voice, albeit of frustration, is one of the best outcomes of this study, and why it must be a first step and not an end in itself.

In the interests of disclosure, The Ozone Project is an advertiser-led business created by publishers and was developed to tackle many of the issues highlighted in this report. We see ourselves as a significant catalyst for the shift towards a more grown-up advertising environment, one less willing to accept the past shortcomings of programmatic.

The answer is not just what to do next, it’s how we do it

As we entered the 2020s I was convinced we would see an adult programmatic self emerge; still with lots of growth and development ahead, but also less wild and irresponsible than the younger child of the 2010s. Given some of the research in this report was produced in Q1 2020, it’s clear there is still much to do before a more mature self emerges. Nine weeks of Covid-19 isolation has given much time to reflect, and it seems how we go about change will be as important as what we change.

Firstly, collaboration must be front and centre. Through their trade bodies, advertisers and publishers have highlighted some of programmatic’s most persistent problems. An astonishing insight from the report is the confusion over whether advertisers and publishers have the right to access the log data for campaigns they are running. The answer to that question should not require consulting a legal department.

The programmatic supply chain should genuinely work in the best interests of publishers and brands. Together they must build on this work to address one of the critical recommendations from the report; standardising terms and conditions for buyers and sellers, while creating consistent data taxonomies and data sharing rules. This first step will help close the somewhat unhelpful gap that has developed between advertisers and publishers within programmatic advertising.

Secondly, while transparency is at the heart of this study, it isn’t something to fix, it is a way to behave. The ‘opacity by design’ approach that has challenged the sector for years represents institutionalised behaviour that will require a concerted effort to correct. Being open, authentic and human in terms and conditions will be deemed important qualities, rather than hiding the ‘unknown delta’ in technical terms and jargon that almost no one understands. Patience has been worn paper-thin amongst advertisers and publishers, and in this new future we will see vendors and partners selected on operating principles as much as technical capabilities.

A starting point for what to do next

The insights and recommendations from the report itself provide a framework for where future focus must be directed.

As already mentioned, standardising terms and conditions through Isba and the AOP is an obvious next step to remove much of the friction and confusion that exists today. It took PwC more than nine months to receive the information for its analysis, with an often ‘round the houses’, confused approach to who could give permission to use the data.

Brand safety has been high on the marketer agenda during these challenging times with a specific focus from Newsworks’ #BackdontBlock campaign. This new analysis should enable further grown-up conversations around brand safety generally, particularly as the study’s advertisers appeared on an average of 40,524 different domains. That’s not a misprint. 40,524 different websites. How many websites do you visit on a regular basis? Even looking beyond the first page of the Comscore top 3,000 yields some very random websites. Only 19% of campaign impressions were delivered on premium publisher domains, with the vast majority appearing on other websites and the unregulated long-tail of the internet. Responsible advertisers will no doubt be asking questions about where their advertising is going, and what exactly it is funding.

Next, the ‘unknown delta’ needs to become known. In an automated world, one would expect any margin for error to be reduced, and therefore any major gap is concerning. While many have offered thoughts as to why – from currency fluctuations to the compound impact of rounding through the supply chain – it’s important to remember that this 15% ‘unknown delta’ appears in the very small proportion of data that could be matched for the purposes of the study. If this reflects the ‘best of the best’ – major advertisers working with the most premium publishers – the 15% delta will be significantly bigger with smaller sites and smaller advertisers that weren’t measurable.

A final point not specifically called out in this report but to me is inferred in every insight and recommendation, is aligning incentives for each participant in the supply chain to the value they provide. And this extends to the agreements brands have with their media agencies. It will be very difficult to move to a trusted grown-up programmatic ecosystem if each actor is trying to game the system, whether through opportunity or necessity. Remove the incentive for opacity and we build an advertising environment that we all want. It’s on advertisers and publishers to build on this study and remove these incentives.

“The market is damn near impenetrable.”

In last week’s Financial Times, the frustration of Phil Smith, Isba’s director-general, regarding the programmatic world couldn’t have been more obvious. Yet with some time to reflect and digest, what is becoming increasingly clear is that this first-of-its-kind collaborative study has already laid great foundations for building a better future for digital advertising.


Sourced from The Drum




The ‘new normal’ is a phrase that we are all currently being bombarded with from many sources as society starts to adjust to life under lockdown and people consider how life may be different once we come out the other side. As the everyday realities of their customers experience changes (some significant, others more subtle), brands are faced with the question of how, or indeed whether, to adapt their marketing to reflect these changes.

For many brands the idea of showing slick, aspirational advertising content in a time of global crisis is just not an appropriate option. Then of course there’s the more practical question of how new content is actually going to be created when most of us are confined to our own homes. The days of exotic location shoots and ensemble casts for TV ads are, at least temporarily, gone.

In its place we are seeing a seeing a significant rise in the use of user generated content (UGC) in marketing, featuring raw, hand shot footage from staff or customers which is designed to reflect our collective new reality and create an emotional connection with audiences. Examples include the likes of Apple, TSB, Tesco and Co-op, who recently replaced their original Easter campaign to promote the sale of Easter eggs for a new staff-led advert to highlight their support for food redistribution charity, Fareshare.

While many of these campaigns have been positively received, is UGC a form of content that is here to stay? Will it continue to be valued after this crisis has passed, or is it merely a temporary trend?

Here’s what two Mission Agency leads, themselves working with clients to adapt their marketing to the current climate, have to say on the subject:

Kate Cox, chief executive officer at Bray Leino:

”Creative comprising of user-generated content is clearly a practical way of getting around the physical filming restrictions during lockdown. Currently there is also an acceptance for ‘rough and ready’ content (be it commercials, programming, schooling, podcasts, radio shows). Plus, no brand wants to be insensitive creating extravagant production pieces or be seen to be defying official advice around social distancing, so UGC is a perfect workaround.

”Who knows what the future holds, but the chances are it will be a temporary trend. When the new normal comes, we will clearly have all learnt things, picked up new and effective ways of working and living, created new life habits etc, but we will also revert to some ‘old’ behaviours. Human nature and what drives us doesn’t fundamentally change, so it’s likely that marketing will continue to reflect this. The key is, we need great insight, variety in our ideas and our executions, one-size-fits-all is clearly not the way to go – it’s the opposite of standing out and having impact.”

John Quarrey, krow Group chief executive officer:

”UGC has offered a quick fix solution to the current production challenge for brands, but it isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the only solution we find for producing new content in a socially distanced world. Stop-frame, 2D & 3D animation, professional stills, self-shooters, influencers, re-editing of existing content are all production approaches largely unaffected by the lockdown and offer a wide variety of executional styles.

”Just as we shouldn’t be restricted to UGC as a production technique, we also need to avoid making execution the defining factor at the start of the communication process. Rigorous insight that delivers stand-out creative work will always have the greatest potential to transform business performance.

”As for whether brands should reflect the new normal in their ads, there is no easy answer. For most brands, using ‘slice of life’ vignettes to reflect the lives of its audiences seems an obvious and logical way to establish an empathetic connection. But beware the ’brandwagon’ – brands that are too late to the show and lack originality run the risk of blending in and themselves becoming the new normal. And brands with strong advertising equities or fluent devices might find that more of the same is better than a quick attempt to join in. Aside from that, I’d imagine most people are well ready for a break from the omnipresent Covid-19 coverage. Aligning too closely could see brands being screened out, not standing out.

”As the veil of global lockdown is slowly lifting, advertising will continually evolve to reflect our new social norms. The big questions being, what will those norms look like and which brands will be doing it best? It’s an exciting challenge for our industry.”

Now, more than ever, brands are having to evolve their products, services and communications to suit the shifting tides of consumer behaviours, demands and expectations. While UGC is undoubtedly a popular way to engage with consumers at this time, as marketers maybe our task right now should not be to hold a mirror up to the people of the country, but to take time to understand how the world around us has changed in the past few months. And how what people want to hear from brands has changed too.


Cat Davis, group marketing director at The Mission Group & Krow Group

Sourced from The Drum


From The Trade Desk to Condé Nast and Puma to PepsiCo, we ask some of the world’s best digital marketers where they think the next big industry shift will come from?

Nigel Vaz, global chief executive officer, Publicis Sapient

If you’re riding (or getting hit by) waves then you’re probably still swimming in the shallows. By which I mean it would be easy to answer that the next big wave is the ability to reach new possibilities in personalization at scale, across touchpoints, through data and machine learning. It’s true, but tells only part of the story. What we are all here to do is not to help clients create a deliverable, but a way to operate and exist so they don’t end up on the receiving end of another company’s disruptive breakthrough. The most compelling conversations I have are with business leaders who aren’t looking for waves, but horizons: people such as Novartis chief executive Vas Narasimhan, whose vision is to move beyond being a pharmaceutical company and to create value for patients and support them through their entire lifecycle. That’s an incredibly powerful and purposeful ambition that requires reimagining that business on a number of fronts, from strategy to experience to the application of data.

Oliver Deane, director of commercial digital, Global

Voice will start to have a huge impact on our daily lives. We will begin to do much more than ask Alexa to play the radio. As we embrace voice to be more productive, we will use our devices to order groceries while we make dinner, have a long-form feature read to us while we exercise and book our train travel while shopping. Much of this technology is already accessible – the wave of disruption in the coming years will be how much voice is used and how regular it becomes within our lives.

Ray Soto, director of emerging tech, Gannett

The digital signs of the next big wave are all around us, but you can’t focus on one without considering the others. I foresee the next big wave will be a convergence of several technologies that solves a problem and delivers an experience worth being a part of. I see it as something that helps us navigate our digital space differently, but provides a more immersive experience and efficiency without a lack of connection we may feel today.

Adam Harris, director of custom solutions, Twitch

I believe live sport is surfing the first wave of digital disruption. Sports often look to expand their reach into different audiences or look for different ways to communicate with existing fans. On top of that you have a host of traditional sports, such as golf and Formula 1, with aging fan bases, contrasted with the eSports scene, which is thriving among younger demographics – just look at the success of the recent Fortnite World Cup.

With eSports’ success as a purely digital-first experience, traditional sports have a huge opportunity. Interactive live environments such as Twitch are made for the kind of communal, passionate tribal experiences live sport delivers. We are already seeing strong engagement in this area with the likes of the NFL, Champions and Europa Leagues, MLS, Rugby League and National Women’s Hockey League all broadcasting live on Twitch.

Luke Davies, senior manager of global yield, Reuters

Data privacy law, again. GDPR is a slow burner and unfortunately our industry’s attempts of adoption have reduced the general user experience quality across the web. For GDPR, and now CCPA in 2020, with the potential for wider uptake across the US market, we can expect to experience changing tides across the next few years.

Simon Gresham Jones, chief digital officer, Condé Nast

On our mobile devices, again. 5G will open up a new frontier of business and creative possibilities for brands. For media and entertainment in particular, there’s an opportunity to re-imagine how we inspire our audiences at scale.

Morten Grubak, executive creative director for northern Europe, Virtue

The intellectual properties of brands. Brands need to be innovative in the products, services and solutions they bring to the world (this is where adding value really gets to live), not just in their communication.

Creative agencies should have as much contact with product development and innovation, not just marketing. We need to prove our value by solving real problems – and not just that, but doing it in surprising and interesting ways to capture the world’s increasingly scarce attention. It’s harder than it sounds. But don’t fret: the world is young.

Alexandra Willis, head of communications, content and digital, AELTC

A continuation of the ability of AI, machine learning and automation to drive personalization: it will just get better and more sophisticated and therefore true choice for the consumer over experience, rather than just customization within rules.

Voice: not being wedded to keyboards will rapidly increase the speed at which things are expected to happen, both in terms of the way we work and how consumers engage.

5G penetration: if it does what it says, it could transform the cost and flexibility of content production in such a way that we move completely away from linear and digital, and have a truly integrated model.

Alysia Borsa, chief marketing and data officer, Meredith

It’s hard to pick just one thing. From a consumer perspective, behaviors continue to evolve and expand to multiple platforms, with voice being a major shift in engagement. From a business perspective, providing personalization and relevancy in a cookieless world is going to be disruptive, and players who have direct relationships with consumers will be best set up to succeed.

Julie Clark, global head of automation revenue and podcast monetization, Spotify

How we leverage and utilize data is going to be a massive disruptor to our industry; we all need to plan for it now rather than allowing it to happen to us. There is also a reimagining happening right now as we start to connect digital back to real-world engagement of consumers. While direct to consumer brands have fundamentally changed purchase behaviors, I do believe human tactile experiences will continue to be fundamental now and into the future. From pop-up store trends to retailers becoming more skilled in connecting their on and offline worlds, I think we are going to have an interesting few years seeing these worlds merge.

Victor Knaap, chief executive officer, MediaMonks

In my opinion the word ‘digital’ needs to be killed soon – everything is digital. Besides that, my prediction is media companies that don’t master programmatic will have a real hard time in the next 12 months. To be frank, I am afraid we all generally expect too much from the near future. Old models die slowly, while we are overlooking the real change that will happen in the long-term. The media, agency and consultancy industry will look completely different in 10 years’ time.

Tamara Rogers, global chief marketing officer, GSK Consumer Healthcare

A truly intelligent internet of things. A world where the devices around you no longer just respond to your instructions, but predict your needs based on the behavioral data patterns they have tracked. For example, your vehicle self-adjusting the seat and heat pads to the optimum position and temperature to ease your back pain, identified as an issue from the way you have been moving during sleep the previous night and your range of mobility since rising. How are brands part of a dynamic system to improve the quality of life?

Aaron Cho, head of digital, IPG Mediabrands Hong Kong

There are growing privacy concerns around the usage of data, while digital properties continue to tighten their data policies. I think these forces might bring about the next big shift in digital marketing for two main reasons. Firstly, the privacy landscape is still changing and the dust has yet to settle – there’s no clear indication about which digital linkages will break and which ones marketers will need to bridge, which affects practices around identity resolution and data-driven audience planning. Secondly, while there are numerous data and tech companies on the market right now, their solutions are mostly still in development in the APAC region and there’s also a very real shortage of talent that understands how to manage their implementation.

Josh Peters, director of data partnerships, BuzzFeed

First-party audience collection and data privacy. They’re intrinsically linked together – as they should be – and companies and brands who handle this well will be big winners. We’re already seeing apps like BigToken helping consumers not just take control of their data but also helping them monetize it themselves. That’s a huge shift in the market – users making money off their own data instead of just companies. This, in turn, makes the data the app holds even more valuable in the market.

For brands and publishers, the ways in which they collect and use audiences is going to be imperative to future success, especially in an industry whose regulatory structure is exponentially increasing in complexity. Tech that makes it easy to collect in areas third-party pixels can’t, that seamlessly connects to privacy compliance frameworks and even the privacy frameworks themselves, will change the way marketers do business. The ones who make it both easy and effective will help change the course of digital marketing soon.

Sean Lyons, global chief executive officer, R/GA

Data privacy. There are a lot of new technologies currently in development that rely on almost unlimited access to people’s behavioral and personal data. What happens when people, and legislators, decide that privacy is more important than personalized messages and services? What happens when these technologies fall into the wrong hands? There is a big opportunity to solve this problem in fair and novel ways.

Mike Scafidi, head of martech, adtech and consumer data, PepsiCo

The next digital disruption will be through establishing trust. This will protect the interests of the consumer and improve the marketer’s ability to have an accurate understanding of the consumer. This will fundamentally disrupt everything we see in the data ecosystem today.

Sujatha Kumar, senior director of marketing, Visa India

I think we are seeing it as we speak. It’s no longer a fragmented market or media, but it’s a fragmented consumer who has a myriad of choices and a short attention span – hence the rise of programmatic ad platforms for dynamic creative optimization. There’s still a long way to go on how these platforms really evolve to serve their purpose – not just to us marketers, but also the end consumer.

The other big disruption will be voice – how it will become the key enabler and how tools such as facial and voice recognition will become the norm for security encryptions.

Stephan Loerke, chief executive officer, World Federation of Advertisers

The next big wave of digital disruption will be voice. We see penetration of voice assistants growing exponentially, and hurdles to voice commerce are comparatively low – once the technology is fully there. From a brand marketer’s perspective, voice will change the equation fundamentally – in terms of consumer trust, role of platforms and brand presence.

Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer, Visa

Augmented reality will hit in a big way. I think we’ll see it primarily through virtual shopping experiences, with consumers being able to trigger supplemental experiences through AR and brands. With AR, companies can manifest much more engaging experiences with their consumers than what we generally see today.

Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing, Puma

I think many brands have been successful in making the jump from advertising-based messaging to storytelling, story creation and content-focused messaging. Now we must find ways to actually leverage the power of the technology at our fingertips to leverage content and story creation in a targeted way, at scale. That’s the issue at the heart of the current moment of stress and tension in the industry. Once we overcome the hurdle of getting promising dots to line up, then we can all start to focus on the ‘next’ wave, which I have to assume will be linked to end customers beginning to exert ownership of their personally owned marketing space and opting in to virtually all messaging that we want to deliver.

Jeff Green, chief executive officer, The Trade Desk

As I have said before, we will likely never see a bigger industry shift than what’s happening right now in connected TV. We are at the very beginning of the digitization of TV advertising. For the first time, advertisers can apply real data to their large TV ad campaigns. Much of what we’ve done over the past decade has simply been a dress rehearsal for the digital shift happening in TV right now. Every top advertiser wants to know how they can best access CTV inventory at scale and how they can apply programmatic to it.

Nicolas Bidon, global chief executive officer, Xaxis

To use a famous quote: “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” I believe the next big wave of digital disruption will be when some of the forces that have been at play in China for a couple of years already – such as mobile-first experiences powered by AI, social commerce at scale and frictionless mobile financial payments, to name just a few – will make their way to the US and Europe.

Lisa Utzschneider, chief executive officer, IAS

At IAS we are placing big bets on connected TV and OTT as the next digital disruption. We are already seeing major broadcasters start the shift to CTV/OTT content and that trend is expected to continue and grow. We’re leaders in creating solutions for advertisers and publishers to ensure that every ad impression is viewable, brand-safe and fraud-free, and we’re bringing our 10 years of experience in digital verification to the CTV space with our open beta in the US.


Sourced from The Drum