Tom Denford and David Indo from ID Comms: how advertisers can deliver media change in 2017

On this week’s #MediaSnack Tom and David ask how advertisers can deliver real change in the way that media is viewed internally by answering some questions.

They pick three of the key questions that have come from client side viewers and deliver further advice on how advertisers can drive true media change in 2017.

Question 1 (from a Chief Marketing Officer): “You mentioned that change comes from the top and you said ‘change the narrative’ – how do I do that and where do we start?”

Answer: First work out the current status of media internally as this will be the basis for everything going forward. You want to know how good are you compared to other brands and best practice. Simple analysis can give you a perspective that will give you a starting point for your road map for change. The next step will be to align your immediate stakeholder group and create a business case for change, which shows how it will drive a return. This allows you to seek a mandate for change from company leadership and to go out and execute that change.

As CMO, the change will come when you start talking about media as an investment in a business outcome rather than a cost, but you must also draw a line in the sand, take a perspective on how you manage media now and from which you can track continuous incremental improvements over time. That’s how you will account for the impact of the change you want to make. Getting your organisation to see media as an accountable investment in growth will take some time, but you need to lead the charge.

Question 2 (from a Media Procurement Leader): “I’m in procurement, I like what you said but without media stakeholders internally how do we do this? The business probably sees media as a cost rather than an investment. I want us to be more strategic about media and work better with our agencies. How?”

Answer: This is a common question from many media procurement managers who feel a little isolated in large marketing organisations. Typically a procurement manager who has few marketing stakeholders with significant media responsibilities. The challenge is that their own KPIs are often mis-aligned with the idea of media being an investment in growth because they are focused (and typically incentivised) on efficiency improvements and cost savings.

The challenge is to get yourself on the agenda of your CMO or CPO and challenge them to be open to redefine the internal KPIs for media away from just ‘traditional’ procurement metrics and more closely aligned to metrics of growth and value creation. Tom and David reveal that most procurement leaders are generally very keen and very capable at reframing this discussion but it often requires education with the business, getting senior marketing and procurement leadership to be more closely aligned on common KPIs for media success.

Procurement are well equipped drive this agenda because they know the agency contract, they are evaluating agency performance and are often responsible for making media accountable. The key is to adjust the measures of success.

Question 3 (from a Global Media Director): “How do I make media famous internally and get my business to recognise media (and me) with more value and importance?”

Answer: Tom and David argue that media directors need to step up internally and make the change happen. This means shifting your role from being (and being seen as) someone who manages a media agency to the guardian of a huge company investment in growth.

If you can re-engineer how your role is seen and valued then this will change both the perception of media internally (because it will be seen more as an investment not a cost) and in turn your own value and reputation as an executive with influence on the success of one of the company’s largest annual expenditures.

You’ll find once you change this narrative about media and the perception of your role amongst senior leadership that they actually get rather excited about media.

David suggests celebrating media successes internally to raise its profile – consider an annual media awards but one which is carefully aligned to your own internal media strategy.

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