Blog  Forward Thinking  

In Support of What Marc Pritchard Actually Said at The ANA Media Conference

by Pam Zucker, March 07, 2022
What Marc Pritchard Actually Said at the ANA Media Conference

This article was originally published on AdWeek.

In early March, Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at P&G, gave a strong lesson in media innovation during his keynote address at the ANA Media Conference. I was at the event and feel that the reporting on his remarks thus far has missed the real point of his message. One reporter has suggested that P&G wants to “do away with the inefficient upfront process that is plagued with ineptitude and misleading processes.”

That was not the message I heard. Pritchard may have talked about the upfront being broken, but that is not news. He used the known flaws in the upfront process to articulate a broader message about the need for continual innovation, inclusion and respecting the consumer.

The next phase of media

What I heard Pritchard clearly articulate during the keynote were five salient points to guide the next phase of media and solve the marketers’ dilemma of driving business growth in a complex media ecosystem. Those points were:

  1. Respect consumer data as their data
  2. Innovate in media buying and placements
  3. Connect media to commerce
  4. Innovate to immerse and engage consumers
  5. Accelerate growth with multicultural media

The overriding message was consistent with what Pritchard and P&G have preached for many years: The consumer is the boss and if you respect their time and meet their needs with innovative products and marketing, they will reward you with purchases and loyalty.

The reporting on Marc’s keynote only focused on point No. 2—innovate in media buying and placements. The reporting ignored his other smart and critical insights into the media process. And to be sure, if marketers focused on the other four points they would have a quicker path to growth.

The consumer is the boss and if you respect their time and meet their needs with innovative products and marketing, they will reward you with purchases and loyalty.

Who can argue with the validity in respecting consumers’ data, the need to connect media to commerce, engaging the consumer, and accelerating your commitment to multicultural media? These are not controversial, but sound media fundamentals in 2022. But the press latched on to the one element where they know they can grab headlines and create tension.

With that said, I don’t want to ignore what Pritchard said about innovation in media buying and placements, which has garnered all the press attention. I worked closely with P&G for 20 years, and they always pushed the need for innovation, efficiencies and effectiveness in the supply chain, whether they were buying chemicals and plastic or impressions and experiences. And let’s face it, the media supply chain is not perfect. In my opinion, the broken supply chain that was being referred to in Pritchard’s second point can be bucketed into four areas for immediate action. Actions that can change the game to create a better consumer experience without upending a process that will evolve as the landscape evolves.

The upfront process has undergone changes in the past five years and will continue to evolve. But long-term commitments to buying reserved premium inventory is here to stay—that is a good thing. And the media ecosystem will continue to bring more data and automation to the process for continual improvements.

Moving forward together

Today, marketers, media owners and agencies can all contribute to improving outcomes of the buying process without overturning it completely.

Marketers must embrace the use of data-enabled linear TV and welcome, not fight, plan fluidity (impressions delivered across linear, digital and connected TV) to reach their strategic audience across platforms.

Media owners must eliminate the urge to build new walled gardens that prevents (or makes difficult) a holistic view of a client’s buy. And they must stop packaging client-defined low-value inventory with client-defined high-value inventory. Instead, let the buyer purchase what they believe will best influence their customers. Allow real supply and demand to dictate pricing. Let the undervalued inventory be inexpensive (and become biddable to a greater degree) and retain high-value inventory for direct sales and maximize the price.

Agencies must embrace new planning technology that allows them to understand the trade-offs between different platforms at different volume levels and pricing levels. This will also begin to solve the issues with too much frequency against the same consumer and programming overlap between platforms that sell the same inventory (the real concern of Pritchard’s point regarding the need for innovation in media buying and placements).

The remedy to innovation in media and placements can be in large part solved with fresh thinking and the willingness to act in the best interest of the consumer, without displacing the entire buying process. Marketers and their agencies need to invest in planning and buying technology that solves for a holistic view of their media, making traditional media data-enabled and understanding the trade-offs between the value of different media elements.

Let’s all stop sensationalizing the evangelism of smart media rules for the road to gain eyeballs. This is what we criticize far-left and far-right news outlets for doing and politicizing every dimension of our world. The media industry must do the same and stop trying to turn buyers and sellers into adversaries.

Simply put, buyers and sellers should be healthy sparring partners—each fighting to grow their businesses and delight consumers.


About Amobee

Founded in 2005, Amobee is an advertising platform that understands how people consume content. Our goal is to optimize outcomes for advertisers and media companies, while providing a better consumer experience. Through our platform, we help customers further their audience development, optimize their cross channel performance across all TV, connected TV, and digital media, and drive new customer growth through detailed analytics and reporting. Amobee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tremor International, a collection of brands built to unite creativity, data and technology across the open internet.

If you’re curious to learn more, watch the on-demand demo or take a deep dive into our Research & Insights section where you can find recent webinars on-demand, media plan insights & activation templates, and more data-driven content. If you’re ready to take the next step into a sustainable, consumer-first advertising future, contact us today.

Read Next

All Blog Posts

Advertising’s Identity Crisis And The Demise of the Third-Party Cookie

SVP of Engineering, Michael Banham shares his perspective on the cookieless future and an interesting vantage point to replace third-party cookies. Read on for more.

December 15, 2021

Forward Thinking

It’s OK to be Comfortable with Imperfect Measurement

With so much data available at the flip of a switch for advertisers, it's challenging to measure it all perfectly. And that's ok. Learn more with Managing Director of Amobee, Josif Zanich

December 2, 2021

Company Updates

Our Partnership Commitment: To Challenge others to embrace a bigger and bolder partnership strategy

As we look into the future, we challenge others to embrace a bigger and bolder partnership strategy as well. Learn how Amobee is leading the way.

November 12, 2021