While the ad industry has been debating whether purpose is a business driver or not, Larry Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blackrock Inc., has no doubt and is willing to use the $1.7 trillion in active funds managed by Blackrock to push companies to make positive contribution to society.  by Nigel Hollis

Some marketers have despaired of ever being able to connect a sales impact to a specific and unique element of complex and multi-faced marketing plans – preferring instead to use their “gut” to guide marketing decisions and to rely on anecdote or vanity metrics to justify the results. However, in our era of data-driven marketing, this “know-nothing” approach has become increasingly untenable as CFOs and CEOs demand more exacting demonstrations of marketing ROI.

The old industry adage of garbage in, garbage out couldn’t be more applicable when it comes to advanced demographics.

Account managers were giants of accountability during the Mad Men era, when agencies were paid by media commissions and it was important to convince client executives, up and down the line, that high media spending was good for brands.  Everyone benefited from this.  TV advertising was effective, so clients and brands benefited from this account management salesmanship.  TV advertising unleashed the agency's creative capabilities and allowed creatives to flourish and do their best work.  Senior account people sold the agency's creative ideas to their clients, acting as intermediaries (for better or worse), solidifying account executives' credibility in the eyes of their clients.  Although there were plenty of turf wars between the "suits" and the "creatives," the overall process assured a high degree of unity, purpose and intimacy with clients.  Finally, and not insignificantly, agencies made a lot of money -- much more than they earn today.  By Michael Farmer

The top types of brand-unsafe content that marketers said they or their brands had been exposed to were disasters/tragedies (39%), divisive politics (39%) and fake news (39%). However, almost one-third also said their content had appeared too closely to that of a competitor, underscoring how broad a definition respondents had about unsafe content.

Lizette William's initial assignment will be Head of Cultural Engagement at McDonald’s.  Prior to joining McDonald’s, Ms. Williams worked at Kimberly-Clark and PepsiCo.

 

The FIFA World Cup, as you probably already know, is the ultimate sports competition in the world, showcasing premier level soccer stars playing with their national teams. This tournament takes place every four years, but what you might not know is that there’s another battle that happens behind the scenes: it’s a competition between brands to outfit and sponsor each national team.  By Vicente Navarro, partner and vice president of business development at AC&M Group

Marketers today need fast feedback on whether their campaigns are likely to succeed or not. While automated pre-testing provides the opportunity to anticipate how well a campaign will perform, many will still want to check whether the in-market performance is on track for success and properly analyzed search and social data can help provide that feedback.  by Nigel Hollis

Being a simple chap, I like to divide the bulk of the media agency world up into planners and buyers.  I know everyone has far smarter and possibly more accurately descriptive job titles these days, but fundamentally you're either a "hot" buyer (driven by the deal) or a "cool" planner (driven by the data).  By Brian Jacob

Most digital strategies don’t reflect how digital is changing economic fundamentals, industry dynamics, or what it means to compete. Companies should watch out for five pitfalls.  The processing power of today’s smartphones are several thousand times greater than that of the computers that landed a man on the moon in 1969. These devices connect the majority of the human population, and they’re only ten years old.

Two consumer behaviors are driving brands’ ability to gain insights into purchase behavior: the rise of pre-shopping research on products, and the adoption of ecommerce. Even as in-store buying remains far and away the preferred method to purchase groceries, the insights gained through digital touchpoints are helping consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands shape the new customer journey.

TurboTax focuses on Latino EmpowermentTurboTax announced the launch of its new integrated Latino marketing campaign aimed at giving Latinos the confidence that with TurboTax their taxes are done right with a guaranteed maximum refund.  

The 4A’s asked industry-leading agency search consultants to provide “One Piece of Advice” that the association could share with members as they begin thinking about their 2018 new business plans.

H Code Media announced the launch of a new division called H Code Studio—a full-service content studio combining the identity of a brand, the storytelling of a production house, and the scale of a digital platform.

Expect the trend of marketers expanding and/or launching in-house agencies to continue in 2018. If the Ad Age 2017 Marketer of the Year does its creative in-house, that's certainly a model that should be considered for many others.  By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA

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