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The Latest Trends in Marketing & Advertising

A Q&A with CEO Bill Wise & Mediaocean Board Member, Deborah Wahl
November 29, 2017

Mediaocean recently announced that Deborah Wahl would join the company’s board of directors. Deborah brings more than 25 years of experience in the marketing industry, including her most recent tenure as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at McDonald’s USA, and Vice Chair of the Association of National Advertisers. 

Deborah and Mediaocean CEO Bill Wise recently sat down to talk about the latest trends in marketing and advertising, and the growing role of the CMO.

Deborah, what was it about Mediaocean that intrigued you about joining the board of directors?

Deborah: I love the framework of Mediaocean’s mission of using technology to unleash the potential of advertising.  I’m also really interested in how to create new efficiencies in the ad agency process, and how to improve that process. As my interest in the future of the industry grew, I became more aware of Mediaocean’s products and strength in innovation. I’ve seen them change and develop over time, to the point that they are now industry leaders in terms of how to use information more efficiently and effectively. I wanted to be a part of that.

Bill, why is Deborah a good fit for the Mediaocean board? 

Bill: It’s important for us to have the voice of a CMO in our boardroom, and Deborah has tremendous experience at McDonald’s, at the ANA and in other industries. And she shares our passion for not just meeting the customer where they are today, but also thinking about where they’ll need to be tomorrow. We think her experience in all of these areas will make her invaluable to us.

Bill, you’ve said that one reason for selecting Deborah for the board is that the role of the CMO is rising.  Why is that?

Bill: Right now there’s a lot of distrust in advertising, a lot of uncertainty about how and where to invest and what works best. The person best equipped to ensure that more of that spending reaches the consumer, and that customers have a more direct connection with the people who make their products, is the CMO. More and more companies are realizing how important that is.

Deborah: That was exactly my experience in the corporate world. And I think that led to a change to where marketing really is being viewed as a key business driver now. If you look at the trends of speed, scale and personalization, the CMO role sits right in the middle of all of them. Companies that help CMOs and companies navigate the landscape are crucial.

What are some of the most important ongoing trends in marketing and advertising? And how can Mediaocean capitalize?

Deborah:  Without question, the pace of innovation is accelerating.  And what’s exciting to me as a marketer is that technology can not only live side-by-side with creativity, it can actually enhance creativity. In this real-time, mass-personalization world, there’s a whole different approach to creativity. The foundation for that is media convergence. The question then becomes, how do we integrate all of this so that we’re all learning faster and able to benefit from all this opportunity that’s right ahead of us? 

Bill: Deb’s absolutely right.  We’ve both been in this industry for years, and media convergence changes the landscape dramatically. People are consuming the media of their choice at the time of their choice on the device of their choice. That’s creating a lot of differentiation around technology, and really plays to Mediaocean’s strength.

We’ve talked about the opportunities, but what challenges do these trends pose, and what should marketers do to tackle them?

Deborah: Measurement in the digital space has grown as a concern. The tools to measure traditional forms of marketing have been well-honed for decades, but when it comes to digital, the tools are constantly changing. The other major issue is how to make spend better and make it more efficient so that marketers see more of their dollar actually go to reaching customers.  We need to eliminate the friction and help advertisers understand where they can invest their dollars more productively. I see a huge opportunity for Mediaocean in that area. 

Bill: Exactly – it’s all about adding efficiency to the supply chain. And the beauty of having Deb on our board is that as a former CMO of one of the world’s biggest brands, she is attuned to these dynamics. She understands how to leverage scale and eliminate waste. And she understands the importance of having a data and measurement strategy so we can constantly evaluate ourselves.