ANA Media Leadership Conference

The ANA Media Leadership Conference hosted earlier this month is an annual event for agencies, companies, and vendors where more than 300 leaders in the marketing industry get together to share industry best practices, as well as cover what is emerging in the marketing industry. ANA stands for the Association of National Advertisers, and as an organization, its main focus is promoting and protecting the well-being of the marketing industry as well as advancing the interests of marketers.

Speakers from Xerox, Procter & Gamble, Netflix and others covered a wide range of topics including bot fraud, media transparency and media integration.

Now, on to the top three.

1. Native Advertising. For years, advertisers have published advertorials in print publications or paid for product placement in top television shows like American Idol and The Voice. More recently, Native Advertising has branched into the digital world with sponsored editorial content. With more and more opportunities available for Native content online, marketers need to develop guidelines and ethics for disclosure. This means that we need to identify that the content was paid for, no matter if it is placed digitally or traditionally. While no published guidelines currently exist, the overwhelming response from attendees at the conference was that advertisers need to provide full disclosure when placing Native ads, no matter if they are placed in traditional media or digital.

2. Bot Fraud is a larger issue in advertising than we ever thought. Bot Fraud occurs when bots, or automated entities that act as humans, consume any digital content and count as false impressions or views of an ad. ANA and Whiteops did a study that found that hundreds of millions of bots attacked many different types of campaigns and estimated global advertisers will lose around $6.3 billion to bots in 2015. The campaigns that were affected the most by bot traffic were video and sourced traffic campaigns.

What can advertisers do to combat bot traffic? First, advertisers need to be aware and involved when placing and monitoring their campaigns. Use third party tracking when possible to provide details about interactions with the ad to ensure that the interaction was human. Second, request transparency for sourced traffic and include language on bot traffic in your terms and conditions. Third, join the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG). The 4A’s, ANA, and IAB have joined forces to launch TAG, a compliance organization that combats ad fraud, malware, and piracy.

3. Trust and Transparency. These words carried through to all sessions and topics presented by clients, agencies or vendors at ANA’s conference. Transparency and trust are taking a more pivotal role in the advertising industry as advertisers continue to shift more dollars into digital, a tactic that is bombarded with inauthentic traffic and view ability issues. For example, when advertisers place dollars through digital sources, those ads earn impressions; however, not all impressions are created equal. Many impressions that are counted as “viewable” are actually “below the fold” of a website and are still considered an impression even though the user did not scroll down and physically see the ad. Agencies must be transparent about their strategies and partnerships and vendors must be transparent on served vs. viewed impressions.

As these topics and others at the ANA Media Leadership Conference show, the marketing industry is constantly changing. L&S is already implementing many of the topics covered at this conference and is always on the lookout for media placement best practices we can apply as we build market leaders throughout the region.

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