AANA's John Broome: 'Marketers must take back control from procurement'

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 23 March 2018
AANA CEO John Broome.

AANA CEO John Broome has urged marketers to be accountable for media contracts and wrest back control of agency relationships that are being screwed down by procurement cost-cutting.

This means paying agencies fairly and investing in media owners that adhere to higher standards.

Broome was reflecting on some of the issues the UK advertising peak body ISBA is grappling with that resonate in Australia.

“The conversation [in the UK] is still very much in the weeds of the digital supply chain and making sure that it is transparent, responsible and an accountable media market,” Broome said at the AANA's annual Media Challenge presented by PwC this week.

A major focus in the UK is outcomes-based marketing; that is focusing on marketing KPIs that drive business growth and using that as a currency in discussions with the C-suite.

“All of the vanity measures that lead to that are no longer as relevant in an outcomes-based approach,” he added.

To do this, marketers should expect to pay more for better quality and start valuing media as an investment rather than a cost.

“If we drive up standards then it is only to be expected that it is going to cost more,” Broome said. “Also deliberately favour providers who offer and adhere to better standards. We should make sure the marketplace demand and supply has a role to play here.”

'Get a grip on ad tech'

Broome said that marketers have a responsibility to understand ad tech and where their media investment goes.

“Typically marketers may spend 10% to 15% at most on their media budget yet in their P&L after product and service cost the next biggest business line is media,” Broome explained.

“We have a responsibility to make sure we understand what we are spending our money on.”

Although he welcomed Pritchard's precision marketing war cry and efforts to take back control of marketing, Broome said it wasn't always realistic for smaller companies.

“The big brands in the US have the capacity to impart change, bring agency functions in-house, but it's not quite the same for businesses that would be classified as medium-sized marketers,” Broome said.

“There are 3000 national advertisers in Australia, so we have to think about scale from that perspective.”

Key priorities for advertisers are digital accountability, viewability and verification; meaningful agency client alignment and relationships; and data privacy.

“The big issue on the horizon over there is a reduction in public trust. If we don't get this right, and there is a reduction in public trust, the calls for regulation will only increase,” Broome added.

The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal will only heighten calls for regulators in Australia to tighten data security regulation and potentially introduce laws like the EU's GDPR.

Broome said advertisers need to prepare for these potential changes.

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