While many celebrated on the Croisette, the WFA gathered 25 leading CMOs together to identify ways to solve the big challenges facing advertisers in the digital ecosystem.
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Our CMO Forum shared their experiences on how they are responding, both internally and externally, to the challenges of digital, identifying five key changes that advertisers can make.
- Demonstrate leadership among your agencies. Bring them together to communicate your vision, which should include being tough on KPIs – including business metrics. Put in place solutions to ensure everyone works from one brief towards a single outcome.
- Before turning to consultancies, bring good business-focused people into your teams. You may not need to look externally; talent “can often be re-purposed and many are keen to have a new challenge”. If you bring in data analysts, ensure they are also good storytellers for maximum effect.
- Ownership of your data remains critical, but before you rush to invest in a DMP, think about your ad server first. Involve your marketing procurement team, or else your fees will likely be considerably higher than those offered to your agency. But don’t lose sight of your agencies’ talent and abilities; even if you do in-house your tech-stack, you can still get your agencies to drive those solutions.
- The trend towards in-housing is gathering momentum. CMOs identified areas where they have brought new capabilities in house and in some cases have “doubled the size” of their internal teams. Yet partnerships with agencies and other external companies remain indispensable. As one member explained: “agencies remain an absolute necessity. I can’t in-source everything.”
- Back to basics: responsible marketing… As one member shared, “We shouldn’t do anything in the digital world we wouldn’t do in the real world”. This is not just an issue of brand safety. It’s about social responsibility to ensure brands do not fund bad actors. It’s up to CMOs to create a framework within which agency and media partners are held accountable.