Monday, May 07, 2012

Is Procurement Just Another Word For Accountability?

The news out today is that procurement is on the prowl within companies like Unilever and PepsiCo to cut the costs of “nonworking media spend.”

What is “nonworking” media spend, you ask.  (I know I did.)

"Nonworking" media spend is the money spent on creating advertising and content.  In other words, the creative end product and the time it takes to create it.

Marketers are now recruiting consultants to come in and tell them how to cut the amount of money they have to spend for coming up with a great idea.

Ridiculous?  Obviously.  But that doesn’t mean that the practice will be stopped.

So before complete lunacy descends on the advertising industry (Oh, hell, who am I kidding?  It's already too late.) let’s figure out what marketers really want from their procurement practices.

Doesn’t it all really boil down to accountability?

Media spend is deemed accountable.  Hence it is deemed productive and called “working” media spend.

But how do you hold a creative idea or execution accountable?  And, accountable to whom?

Well, when you get right down to it, the ones who should hold creative accountable are the viewers.  And, guess what?  They already are doing it.

When a viewer is allowed to opt-in to a commercial—and leave when it no longer interest them—they are providing direct feedback to the advertiser.

Is this creative accountability?  Of course it is.

I know, most creative is held accountable for sales.  But there is something that needs to be done before a message can persuade someone to go buy something.

It needs to be watched.

View duration now measures how long viewers watch a commercial for.

Logic would indicate that the longer a commercial is watched, the better that commercial should work for the advertiser.  In other words, the better the advertiser’s return on investment on what was paid to create and produce the idea.

The only difference between View Duration and procurement is that View Duration offers this accountability after the fact rather than before.

By monetizing view duration, advertisers can hold their creative agencies accountable for doing what they’re paid to do—Create interesting stories that get people to watch and which motivate them to buy the product.

What we can accurately measure, and solely as the responsibilty of the creative, is how long viewers watch commercials for.

Instead of tying the hands of the creative by slashing costs before they create, punish them financially if they don’t deliver.

I mean, if advertisers want to designate creative as “nonworking” media spend, I'm not going to stop them.

But doesn't it at least makes sense to see if it is actually non-working before calling it such?

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