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Real-Time Marketing Is the New Reality

Is there such a thing as a real-time marketing plan? Nancy Hill, President-CEO of the 4A’s, opened a session with that question this week during OMMA Global at Advertising Week.

Hill moderated “’Real-Time’ Spells Real Change for Media, Marketers and Customers,” a panel that discussed all the challenges and issues involved in real-time interaction with consumers who are online 24/7.

As the panel revealed, the approach to real-time marketing differs for companies depending on whether their messaging is primarily B2C or B2B. Lisa Shallett, Head of Brand Marketing and Digital Strategy at Goldman Sachs, is in the B2B camp, and the company found itself backing in to content marketing because financial regulation and legal issues prevent the global investment bank from taking part in real-time conversations.

Because of those restrictions, Shallet told Hill that “oxymoronically,” Goldman Sachs needed a “real-time” marketing playbook that lays out all the possible “what if’s” of any situation and how their legal, compliance and marketing departments must come together to respond, if indeed, they choose to respond. The company is more disposed to listening to online chatter using tools such as Radian6 to at least have a sense of sentiment about the Goldman Sachs brand in worlds beyond finance. “It’s ironic to have a playbook for what ought to be spontaneous,” Shallet said.

At the other end of the spectrum was Alexis Maybank, founder, Chief Strategy Officer of online fashion retailer Gilt Groupe. Maybank said the site has evolved beyond an e-commerce site to a full-on content channel that provides a different experience each time a person lands on the home page and begins clicking deeper into the content. She explained that the company has invested heavily in real-time, regression analysis that is based on every click, every season preference, color, size and beyond.

“We need to keep up on a real-time basis,” Maybank said. “If someone is buying maternity clothing, we have to change their experience on the site very quickly.” Part of what keeps consumers coming back, she added, is that the Gilt Groupe site feels to consumers as if the brand understands their interests and serves up, based on past behaviors, the products and information most relevant to that person.

Another panelist, Lori Hiltz, CEO of Havas Media, North America, is somewhere in between. As the agency handling large consumer retail chains that offer various goods and services (Sears, Kmart), Havas Media has started from the inside of its own organization and worked outwards to serve its client.

Keeping a real-time dialogue going with consumers on behalf of clients that sell everything from bras to lawnmowers is extremely complex, and Havas Media has made significant investments across its talent base to cultivate fluency in data, optimization, algorithms and online behavior.

One of the biggest pitfalls in real-time marketing, the panelists all agreed, was knowing how to respond to negative feedback or conversations. That’s why, in addition to investing in the science side of the business, marketers and agencies need employees who understand the relationship aspects of any business.

Panelist Porter Gale, author of Your Network Is Your Net Worth, said that Red Bull, Old Spice and some entertainment properties are leading the way in terms of the real-time marketing conversation. She pointed to a movie studio that recently held a Google Hangout on the red carpet at a film opening.

Hiltz said her client, Dannon, is responding instantaneously to shopper marketing data right at the supermarket check out, such is the “yogurt world battle” going on now because of the popularity of Greek-style yogurt.

Ultimately, the panelists agreed, driving more engagement with consumers and viewers by optimizing their social graphs is an ever-changing process and will remain so for quite some time.

DGC Live from Advertising Week: Unlocking Client Creativity

Advertising Week X is in full swing and our clients wasted no time today talking about the creative process and what creative success looks like. In a session titled, “Unlocking Client Creativity,” Forbes’ Jenny Rooney talked with executives from DDB New York, sparks&honey, and 4A’s, as well as PPG, about the idea of co-creativity and how it impacts creative results.

Speaking on the panel were Peter Hempel (President & CEO, DDB New York), Nancy Hill (President & CEO, 4A’s), Rebecca Rehder (Account Director, DDB New York), Terry Young (CEO & Founder, sparks&honey) and Rob Horton (Director, Marketing, PPG Architectural Coatings).

Execs from DDB, sparks&honey, 4A’s and PPG Architectural Coatings chat with Forbes CMO Network Editor Jenny Rooney about the importance of co-creation in advertising.

Execs from DDB, sparks&honey, 4A’s and PPG Architectural Coatings chat with Forbes CMO Network Editor Jenny Rooney about the importance of co-creation in advertising

Centered on DDB’s “The Beast” campaign for Glidden, a paint brand, the panelists talked about the importance of not stifling client creativity, and thinking with an open mind when trying to engage with consumers.

Peter Hempel said co-creativity is not just a philosophy, but a way to attach all things creative to campaigns and ultimately to the consumer. He also cited that under DDB Founder Bill Bernbach’s leadership, the agency began to partner art directors and copywriters, an innovative idea for the time that led to inter-agency collaboration across the industry.

Working with other departments, which is a major part of co-creativity, provides a chance for agencies to re-align with a new idea and to let people from neglected departments and internal marketing teams back into the creative process, according to Nancy Hill. Nancy compared outside agencies to personal trainers for brands, saying they push brands a little harder to take risks they might not take themselves.

Continuing the idea of co-creation between agencies and brands, we caught up with Terry Young to elaborate on the number one thing that drives successful co-creativity. Check out the video below to hear what he has to say.

Terry Young, CEO / founder, sparks&honey shares his perspective on enabling client/agency co-creation following a panel at Advertising Week X.

4A’s CEO Nancy Hill Sits Down with Forbes CMO Network


Nancy Hill, President-CEO of the 4A’s since 2008, sat down with Jenny Rooney, Forbes CMO Network editor, to talk about her tenure leading the 96-year-old trade association. Hill was the first woman to hold the position but insists: “When I first took the job, all of the reporters wanted to make the story about the fact that I was the first woman. I had to really turn the reporters and get them to understand that no, it’s because I worked in Baltimore, St. Louis, Los Angeles, [and] San Francisco, in all manner and sizes of agencies… That’s why I got the job.”

Other highlights in the interview are as follows:

  • In the past two years, the 4A’s has been gaining members rather than losing them
  • The 4A’s successfully collaborates with the IAB and the ANA on the privacy initiative and the three associations built the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), which now serves 1.3 trillion impressions a week with a small icon, informing consumers about how particular web sites use information gathered from “cookies.” Hill says the icon has 34 percent awareness just a year after its launch
  • Diversity. Hill says agencies understand more and more that inclusion is good for business
  • Talent development. Many industry execs say advertising is not a destination career any longer, and Hill admits that “we have an awareness problem among young people” but adds that the talent issue is multi-faceted and not limited to advertising because young people are more attracted to tech start-ups.
  • Collaboration with client-side executives. The 4A’s conference, Transformation 2013: The Idea Effect, takes place in New Orleans in March and has more CMO speakers than ever before. Hill says marketers and their agencies have a stake in issues such as, the agency review process, procurement, compensation models, and patent assertions

Hill tells Rooney that a lot of work has been done around the patent issue, also known as “patent trolling,” and member agencies can expect to hear more from the 4A’s about how it is combating the problem.

The Hit Board Friday Feature

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a publicist is seeing a client in the news.  And at DiGennaro Communications, that happens quite a bit: We are fortunate to have many clients with interesting points of view who, as a result, get significant amounts of “ink”—the physical and digital kind.  To more fully salute and celebrate our clients’ thought leadership, we are launching a weekly blog series recapping some of our clients’ most notable media coverage.  Here is a summary from last week:

In this video interview with International Business Times, Rapp Chairman Global Chairman and CEO Bob Horvath discusses Olympics-related advertising trends and touches on the upcoming presidential election.  Overall, the industry is seeing an incremental ad spend of $5 billion to $7 billion for the May-November 2012 period because of these two events, Bob tells reporter Marias Krystian.
Speaking of major events, the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death was August 5. Brenda Fiala, SVP of strategy at digital ad agency Blast Radius, penned a piece last week for the MediaPost Marketing Daily blog on Marilyn’s legacy. Brenda eloquently writes: “Our fascination with Marilyn will likely endure for another 50 years or more, and her brand value will continue to increase, if her own star power is allowed to shine and fill our hearts with the wonder and sympathy for the woman who lived.”

In this Adweek piece, New Media Metrics Co-Founder and Principal Gary Reisman discusses the differences between blacks and whites when it comes to brand loyalty. African-American consumers are more emotionally attached to brands than whites, especially when it comes to media brands, according to the latest New Media Metrics study.We also saw some significant campaign news this past week.

Featured here is a MediaPost/Marketing Daily article about a new campaign for the Kimberly-Clark Scott brand led by Chicago-based Trisect, an ad agency with a “retail-first” approach.  Aaron Noffsinger, a Trisect creative director, says people have a value radar, or “value sense,” for which Scott wants to rewards them.

The ad industry is nothing without its people. In this Ad Age column, Nancy Hill, president-CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (the 4A’s), explains the need to educate young people about career opportunities in our industry. Nancy cites an Arnold Worldwide study that found that young people don’t know how they can apply their tech and entrepreneurial skills to advertising. In an era where high-tech companies such as Google and Facebook get so much play, the ad community needs to eagerly welcome and train tech-savvy young recruits.

Interested in seeing additional media coverage generated by DGC?  Check us out on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our blog next week, when we will have another such round-up.

And if you liked this article, please share it. Thanks!

A Mile in Her Shoes

If you think it’s easy to chart a new course once you have the reins, think again. Nancy Hill, President-CEO of the 4A’s since 2008, has long been a champion of diversity for the ad industry, and when she took the helm of the 95-year-old association, she was raring to go.

In this post, she gives a very candid account of the uphill battle to book female speakers for the many industry events the 4A’s runs throughout the year and when they don’t materialize, she hears cries of: “Where are the women?” Hill wonders? “Where are the people of color?”

These aren’t rhetorical questions, and they defy easy answers as Hill has discovered. “It is very easy to sit on the outside and say what you would do differently,” Hill writes. “I know I did. I was very vocal about what I thought the 4A’s needed to do. Put your money where your mouth is. I did. It’s why I took this job.”

Your feed back is welcome.

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