Mars is seeking to connect its media activity more tightly to creative and ensure this discipline has a much deeper role than simply delivering on an individual campaign.

Rob Rakowitz, director/global media at Mars Inc., discussed this subject at the 2019 Decisions 20/20 conference held by the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies).

And during his more than four-and-a-half years at the food manufacturer, he asserted, the “media director's role has probably mushroomed” in various ways, not least in the “roles and responsibilities” that the position entails.

“[What] we’ve been charged to do is make sure that media remains relevant to the organization and the growth agenda,” said Rakowitz. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Mars media chief: Realignment breeds internal trust, external growth.)

A case in point involves ensuring that media is not a siloed discipline, but fully ties into other vital elements of the company’s marketing.

“When we talk about relevance,” Rakowitz said, “it's making sure that it connects better into the rest of the business – that it’s connecting better to creative, so it’s not just about delivering on the campaign.”

The media function can also push for essential shifts in the marketing formula. “It’s about triggering the right sort of change within the organization so we can start talking about data,” Rakowitz said.

At Mars, “from a media perspective, we’ve been upfront about triggering the conversation in terms of how we actually look at different marketing models.”

Three more granular considerations – each largely associated with digital media – are also at the forefront of crafting a sustainable media strategy at Mars.

“When we talk about sustainability, it’s really about making sure that we understand all of the possible pitfalls – trust, cost, and quality,” Rakowitz said.

Rakowitz is aware that stakeholders throughout the marketing ecosystem play an essential role in driving progress, and that clients need to be active participants in this process.

“We need to take into account the nucleus of this ecosystem around consumers and advertisers: the agencies, the publishers, the platforms. At the end of the day, the advertisers must set the tone for a sustainable marketing and media ecosystem,” he said.

“Without that healthy relationship at the core of the nucleus between an advertiser and its agencies, the rest of the ecosystem is going to fall apart.”

Sourced from WARC