Scott Schiller, NBCUniversal’s EVP/General Manager, Marketing for Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, discussed this subject at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting.
“Consumers now have the ability to have direct relationships with brands as they never have before,” he said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: New IAB chair: To grow, digital ecosystem needs to change.)
“[And] innovation-led growth is shifting to smaller, direct-to-consumer and boutique brands – mattresses, beers, and most famously, razors, where Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club went from nothing to a 15% market share in a matter of years.”
The changes, Schiller admitted, are “very exciting. But it also means that, as an industry, we need to steer in a new direction. We can no longer each be only serving our own interests.”
More specifically, he suggested, it is important for all key stakeholders to “talk to each other”, to “help marketers actually reach their goals, not just ours”, and “move beyond ‘the lowest price gets the deal’ and focus on delivering results”.
The demand for disruption, Schiller said, extends to the other partners in the digital exchange: “Agency holding groups need to balance the transaction with [the] strategy … Agencies and creative leaders need to deliver better consumer experiences.
“Art directors, copywriters, account teams, communication specialists, and media buyers need to get back into the same room once again, like they did in the 90s.”
Buyers must be aware of the pitfalls of cutting costs too severely, as well. “Brands need to learn that a deal on price isn’t always a deal on consumer-engagement benefit,” he pointed out. “Lower ad price often comes with greater risk.”
And the full complement of players in digital commerce, Schiller continued, “need to find a way to look beyond any single quarter and educate our shareholders of the true brand-growth cycle and think on a longer time horizon.
“As leaders, we can re-teach our teams to have conversations about how to make the experience easier on the marketer for the benefit of the consumer.”
Another necessary step, Schiller said, is to ensure that brand safety be a mandated priority: “We have the will and power to self-regulate, and to hold ourselves to higher consumer standards so we are trusted.”
Sourced from WARC