Marc Pritchard at dmexco 2017: a cheat sheet for marketers

In Marc Pritchard’s closing keynote on the first day at dmexco, he issued a ‘wake-up call’ to the industry to drive a new wave of transformative change beyond the harnessing of digital media. He gave an assessment of the progress made since the Internet Advertising Bureau’s leadership conference in January, where he issued a seismic call to arms for the whole marketing industry over the lack of transparency and prevalence of fraud in digital advertising. His verdict: the industry has delivered 60% of what he called for. But more can be done.

In this cheat sheet we give you the must-knows and must-dos following his speech, with a focus on the capabilities marketers need to stay on the front foot.

What was in the wake-up call?

As the world’s largest advertiser P&G has the opportunity to affect great change, but it only represents 2% of overall spend. It was in that context that Marc outlined the steps P&G is taking, asking the industry to follow suit. These were:

A. Demand Media Transparency with 5 steps

  1. One Media Rating Council validated viewability standard – so metrics can be compared on a like for like basis and advertisers know what they’re buying
  2. MRC accredited third party verification – ensuring that agencies and the media no longer mark their own homework when it comes to what is delivered
  3. Transparent Agency Contracts – P&G’s work with the ANA has shown that 75% of ad spend goes in fees and placing ads in front of non-human traffic e.g. bots and clients are not aware
  4. Tag-certified ad fraud prevention – following the much-publicised brand safety issues earlier this year P&G cut $100million in spend with no impact on sales revenue. What became clear in the analysis was that the media placement in the long tail of websites meant they were in contact with bot farms not humans. They have now cut this long tail of media partners to drive quality, reducing fraud and using TAG certified practices.
  5. Ensure brand safety – coming back to a theme that was present in talks throughout the day he outlined the steps that P&G had taken in the wake of the Brand Safety crisis and of the bold actions that the industry needs to take to ensure ads are never placed next to ‘terrorist videos’.

B. Mass one-to-one Marketing

Sharing examples from Pampers and Oral B, Pritchard demanded that marketers use technology to create 1:1 experiences at scale - rather than bombarding too few people with too many ads and little result

C. Advertising as a force for good and growth

The sixth iteration of Always#LikeaGirl was used to highlight the tremendous opportunity to use budgets to make an impact and drive positive change, particularly around equality in gender and in pay. The link between purpose and growth was compelling - Always changed sentiment, drove awareness and grew sales.

What should marketers be doing now?

An underlying theme of the talk was that Marketers cannot rest complacent but rather use the technology available to do something different. They have a clear responsibility to build their own capabilities to address these issues, safeguard their brands and investments and drive positive change.

  1. Use the purpose of your brand to guide your activities.
  2. Set your brands up to deliver one-to-one marketing at scale
  3. Immerse yourself in the ad-Tech world - understand how it works, is measured, the risks and rewards.
  4. Build your measurement capabilities – set the right metrics and challenge agencies on standardisation, verification and budget transparency.
  5. Reward courage and curiosity - challenging partners, cutting budgets, innovating with new tech and admitting you don’t know something requires an underlying curiosity and courage. As leaders we need to encourage this within our teams.

Sitting in the audience, his message hit home. We need to take responsibility and action. Ultimately, marketers control the budgets and the positive change already underway won’t be delivered unless we all commit.

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