Sunday, May 20, 2012

Great (Not Just Good) Times Are Ahead for Marketers

The advertising and marketing communities are at a most interesting juncture as we catapult into the second half of 2004.By all measures, the economy is booming. Pure GDP growth is averaging 4-5%, inflation is relatively tame, productivity is healthy, job growth is finally kicking in and corporate profits are surging. We should all feel great, right?

Strangely, however, there appears to be a current of caution and hesitancy. Perhaps it's the pessimism emanating from the Iraq war, or the increasingly negative tone of the presidential campaign or simple wariness from the advertising recession. But by now, I would have expected far more buoyancy and optimism.

No matter. Call me the eternal optimist but I do believe great (not good) times are ahead. There is clearly a head of steam that's building - and I think that is superb news for all advertisers and marketers. What impresses me is what I'll call, for the moment, "marketing investment discipline". Yes, budgets are expanding and there is clearly more money devoted to brand building and improving customer touch points. But these investments are being done in a far more controlled and "scientific" way as marketers seek to optimize business performance.

Perhaps it's a reaction to the excesses of the past but accountability is truly beginning to resonate - and as Martha might say, "this is a good thing". Marketing investments are far more targeted and focused than ever before - and that will only increase over time. As media tools become more "addressable", marketers will be channeling their budgets against those vehicles that reach specific target audiences - like pet lovers, or parents with babies, or male beer drinkers.

The "de-massing" of media has taken place. Marketers are beginning to look at untargeted spending as wasteful and unproductive. And marketers are increasing their focus at using media that will permit greater measurement of business performance. That's why the Internet is becoming the media of increasing choice. That's why addressable television and "enhanced TV are gaining favor. That's why the radio industry is pursuing accountability with a vengeance. That's why the ANA and AAAA are pushing Ad ID to track all media assets. That's why procurement departments are evaluating agency budgets. Yes, there is quite a bit going on that's going to benefit all marketers in the near and long term.

You know John Wanamaker; we may yet figure out which half of our advertising spending is wasted. And we may have that figured out real soon.


Exploring The Potential for Enhanced TV Advertising

Advertisers are concerned about the impact of the migration of TV viewers from commercial TV to an on demand world. Two trends have emerged that are of particular concern to our members:

Consumer Control over how, what and when they will receive commercial messages

The opportunities and/or threats posed to television advertising by new technology such as DVR (digital video recorders); VOD (video on demand - either pay per play, subscription or advertiser supported;) addressability (ability to target at the DMA, Sub DMA or household level); and interactivity (ads which “telescope” and for which consumer can click for more information).
TV Advertising
Some advertisers have tested some or all of these emerging models but for proprietary or other reasons the results are not widely shared, thus inhibiting the learning which could accrue to all interested parties. Since little information from these trials is broadly shared, they are not gaining traction with the advertising community.

As the advertising industry’s trade association that is advertiser, agency, media and content provider neutral, the ANA is in the best position to lead a non biased initiative to explore this new frontier. Thus, we are proposing an initiative that would create an open forum for advertisers, their agencies, content providers, multi-channel distributors and technology companies to develop enhanced television advertising models based on a consumer centric approach. Such an agnostic environment should lead to a greater understanding of the enhanced television realm, its advertising propositions and consumer interaction.

By sharing information and each contributing their expertise to the process in a real world enhanced television setting, all players in this arena would benefit. From the collaboration among technology companies, pay TV operators and content providers; the advertiser and their agencies will gain valuable marketing data applicable to deployment for its media arsenal.