Is blockchain technology the silver bullet that marketing organisations need right now?
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The first WFA CMO Forum for 2018 held in Singapore this March saw WFA CEO Stephan Loerke join a room full of senior marketing leaders in impassioned discussions on the importance of 'clients taking back control'.
“We have delegated responsibilities to external partners for too long,” he said, “and now, more than ever, it is critical that brand owners come together to set a united agenda that represents the voice of advertisers.”
In addressing the current challenges facing CMOs today, the morning focused on peer-led solutions or the ‘ABCs’ of how clients can take the wheel –and take control!- amidst what one regional CMO described as “a tremendously challenging time for us as an industry.”
The one-two punch of marketing transformation, with an increasing dependence on digital platforms, partners and advertising tech plus the rise of content marketing as a means of driving deeper engagement with consumers has seen traditional silos within marketing organisations replaced by new team structures that can only be supported by new agency models, a topic tabled for future discussion in Q3 of 2018.
More important than evolving structures and frameworks, however, was the need for CMOs to approach the business of agency leadership with the right attitude and ethos upon which progressive, productive and, ultimately, profitable partnerships can be built. “For both parties, I might add,” shared Vivek Pareek, Shell. In bringing this to life, he was joined by (agency) ‘partner-in-crime’ Craig Mapleston from Iris as they identified the success factors of a three-year journey towards mutually-beneficial business success that, unsurprisingly, had a tremendously positive impact on the brand, to boot.
That award-winning case study perfectly encapsulated the '10 critical factors for successful agency marketer partnerships' as distilled by Richard Bleasdale from The Observatory. Sharing the insights distilled over four years and across more than 100 entries to the award of the same name, he noted that partnerships which enjoyed high levels of “communion, co-operation and trust” resulted in both award-winning and effective campaigns.
But trust requires transparency – and the opaqueness of current agency business models doesn’t necessarily instil confidence in marketing leaders. “Our businesses are publicly-listed and tremendously transparent – we’re accountable to our shareholder and tremendously open about how we make our money and our margins. The same certainly can’t be said of our partners.” The conversation quickly came full circle and looped back to agency models. “This information would enable and empower me to make an informed decision on the right set-up for our business. That transparency would make a real difference.”
Is blockchain technology the silver bullet that marketing organisations need right now? If it’s supply chain transparency and traceability you’re after, an immutable illumination of the murky online advertising ecosystem that’s priority, the desire for transparent ad exchanges or an inclusive and fair economic model, blockchain might just be your bag. In a session that not only had the room in rapt attention but also spilled over into lunch, Oliver Ericksson from VML discussed the various applications of blockchain technology for advertisers today, debating the advantages and weighing in on the considerations for implementation with the CMOs at the table.
CHARTER for GLOBAL MEDIA
Koh Hwee Mein, Global Media Partner at Diageo introduced the framework upon which the upcoming WFA Global Media Charter will be based. Crafted as a response to current concerns around transparency, brand safety, advertising fraud and viewability, the Charter will provide clear recommendations for WFA members to ensure greater governance across seven different areas of including verification as well as provide marketing leaders with guidance and structure that can be adapted and aligned with individual business needs as well as across regional and local partners.