What's the Next Marketing Platform? How to Measure Success?

Ad Age's Media Mavens Answer the Big Questions

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- At this year's Media Mavens annual luncheon in New York, Advertising Age honored 16 of the industry's most innovative thinkers from big name marketers including Kraft, Coca-Cola, Ford and Burger King.

Honorees, however, had to earn their lunch by answering questions that show off just how smart they are. Here are six bits of wisdom that Ad Age's Media Mavens imparted this year, including what their clients are looking for, what the necessary elements for a successful social media campaign are, how to evolve a well-known brand into a services company and what technologies have the potential to be successful marketing mediums.

What do marketers really want from media planners?

Bob Bernstein
Bob Bernstein
In a word? Integration, said Bob Bernstein, chief media officer at Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB, along with leadership. Going forward, agencies and individuals who can provide integration will be paid a premium. "Agencies also need to see the big picture from a consumer standpoint and understand their decision journey," Mr. Bernstein said. "Media planning agencies must have the ability to work closely with creative agencies in order to elevate the message, and they have to be able to apply analytical thinking."

What are the elements for a successful social-media campaign?

Three elements responsible for the success of a campaign including being "courageous, credible and transparent," said Connie Fontaine, manager brand content and alliances at Ford Motor Co., who was behind one of the most successful social-media efforts of the past year -- the re-entry of the Ford Fiesta. Also crucial was thoroughly vetting the consumers who took part in the campaign and having executives and agency partners who were committed to the effort. "Staying courageous was difficult because we had to let 100 people take control of our [messaging]," she said. "But we had to be credible and to do that we had to stay out of the mix and that was a tough thing for all of us to do. And by screening all of these people we knew they were going to tell effective and fun stories."

How do you turn a known brand marketer into a service company?

Mark Stewart
Mark Stewart
Mark Stewart, VP global media services at Kraft Foods, said in today's environment marketers have to provide utilities, solutions and real services to their customers, citing Kraft's iPhone application. "There's real connectivity between consumers, brands and content that they love," Mr. Stewart said. "Our application is bringing in new people for us who haven't been customers before. The future is about how you add utility to your brands, and by doing that how do you help solve problems beyond helping people decide on what to eat for dinner tonight."

What can the digital world learn from the offline world?

Shiv Singh, VP-global social media lead at Publicis Groupe's Razorfish, believes it's getting much harder to separate offline from digital and that the silos between the two need to come down. "Digital can learn a hell of a lot from traditional and still needs to," Mr. Singh said. "Consumers don't say to themselves, 'This is a traditional moment and tomorrow I'm going to wake up and have a digital moment.' So it's about time we get beyond that ourselves."

Mr. Singh said digital marketers should take heed of the work taking place in the offline word-of-mouth sector and how the relationship between marketer and influencer is developed and how their influence is measured. "What's going to happen next in social is that we will get a lot more rigorous and technical about how we identify, nurture and measure the impact of online influencers on the customer," he said. "And rather than thinking in terms of audiences we will be thinking in terms of audiences and the impact influencers can have on those audiences."

Just what is the impact of buzz?

Tia Lang
Tia Lang
As far as big name marketers go, Burger King may very well be the king of buzz. But there are critics who think all that noise doesn't amount to much in terms of sales. Tia Lang, director-media and interactive at Burger King, respectfully disagrees and said it all depends on how you define buzz. "Social media is very important in today's environment and we think that generating buzz is a positive result in and of itself," she said. "We have done that with some innovative campaigns that have helped lead to 20 consecutive quarters of positive comp sales. We're pretty proud of that and that's how we would respectfully answer our critics.

What is the next marketing platform?

Paul Leys, director of Ignition Factory East at Omnicom Group's OMD, said agencies and marketers alike have gotten a lot of mileage out of what's happened in the smartphone sector and believes e-reader will soon be offering up the same opportunities. "The platform is showing a lot of innovation for the print industry -- how you can read magazines and how social can be integrated," he said. "Just imagine being able to read GQ and see someone else on the other side of the country reading the same article at the same time and being able talk to them about it. Suddenly there's a different social aspect being added to e-readers. We don't know exactly what this aspect will be yet, but we are excited as there continues to be innovation in the platform."

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