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    From Peripheral to Central: The Evolving Role of Technology
    January 19, 2017
    Published in Media Digest 2017, author Joseph Leon, President Media V7i In last year’s Media Digest, I referenced the dawn of a new era of media measurement, driven by a wave of technological innovation and the accelerating convergence of platforms, channels and techniques. Beyond measurement, technology evolution is unlocking a wealth of new marketing opportunities, from omni-channel targeting and dynamic personalization to virtual and augmented reality. But evolution rarely comes without disruption. The role of technology is shifting from peripheral to central and forcing our industry to adapt. The current marketing technology ecosystem is in a sustained state of flux and we are being challenged on three fundamental levels: ownership, expertise and partnership. Ownership Conundrum Tech stack, data stack, unified stack, point stack, full stack developer, full stack marketer. We all seem to be obsessed with stacks. Funded by the epic investments of the ‘stackzillas’ (Adobe, Oracle, Saleforce, Google), the rise of the stack has been propelled by the technical integration of two historically distinct silos: Marketing Technology, crudely defined as technology focused on the customer, and Advertising Technology, focused on the prospect.   "While each brand’s approach will vary based on scale, maturity and vertical, the stakeholders have already changed: chief technology officers, chief information officers and chief digital officers are now all at the table, driven by enterprise technology considerations." This collision is challenging established ownership norms – agency and adtech, brand and martech – in particular around holistic data management and DMPs (data management platforms). While each brand’s approach will vary based on scale, maturity and vertical, the stakeholders have already changed: CTOs, CIOs and CDOs are now all at the table, driven by enterprise technology considerations. Agencies must brace themselves for new challenges, new clients and new ownership models. Adtech cannot and should not continue to operate as an agency-owned silo. Expertise Vacuum As technology innovation unlocks opportunity, new questions and challenges arise. Many initially fall between the cracks as the established boundaries of marketing disciplines rapidly blur. An expertise vacuum has emerged as our industry takes time to address the service, skill and resource gaps. Consider the opportunity around ad personalization. As martech has honed personalization via email, SMS and web since the advent of Amazon’s recommendations engine, adtech has languished behind, perhaps distracted by the explosive growth opportunity of programmatic. (And for those eager to protest, crude product retargeting ads do not count as personalization!) Few, if any, viable solutions exist off the shelf and even basic ad personalization requires a custom solution involving several platforms. In this technology gap – between DSP, DMP, adserver, CMS and customer database – lies a thought leadership vacuum and brands need guidance. More than any other discipline, our knowledge of measurement, data and ad platforms should allow us as media agencies, to transcend specialism boundaries; to develop a new, broader technological fluency; and transition our clients into this new age of technology as core. Partnership & Collaboration As witnessed by the expertise vacuum above, the surge in integrated solutions and the growing trend for multi-agency pitch teams, technology evolution is proving a potent catalyst for industry change. Quality media services are no longer viable without deep technology fluency, CRM expertise and data management capabilities. Media agencies must learn to partner, collaborate and ultimately integrate with new teams, new agencies and new clients. Technology has made the silos and niche thinking of the past unsustainable. Openness, adaptability and breadth will triumph. Published in Media Digest 2017, author Joseph Leon, President Media V7i
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    Industry orgs call for game time simsub reversal
    January 14, 2017
        With less than a month until the Super Bowl, the industry organizations seek a reversal or delay from the CRTC on decision.   The Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), Canadian Media Directors’ Council (CMDC) have made another appeal to the CRTC asking the regulator to reverse or delay implementation of its decision to remove simultaneous substitution from Canada’s Super Bowl broadcast. The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA) has issued a similar letter. The ACA/CMDC letter states that in the nearly two years since the CRTC first released the policy regarding the Super Bowl, there have been thousands of individual Canadians and interested groups that have voiced concerns with the decision and its probable impact on the market. Most recently, those have included ACTRA National executive director Stephen Waddell, who said in a statement that the decision is “incredibly short-sighted, reckless, and it puts creative sector jobs at risk.” U.S. Republican Senators Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio also voiced their opposition, co-signing a letter to Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, asking that he consider their opposition to the decision. Match those complaints with the court appeal filed Dec. 28 from Canadian Super Bowl rights holder Bell Media and NFL Canada, and the recent Canadian media landscape review conducted by Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, and the ACA and CMDC argue that the CRTC’s decision should be delayed so that its impact can be further reviewed. The CRTC did not comment on the ACA/CMDC letter when asked for a response. Pierre-Olivier Herbert, press secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, said the Government isn’t commenting further at this time. “Our government understands that Canadians value choice when it comes to their programming,” he said in an emailed statement. “We also understand the importance of local advertising in maintaining a healthy broadcasting system. This decision on Simultaneous Substitution – announced in 2015 – is within the policy authority of the CRTC and is explicitly not reviewable by government. As the matter is now before the courts, we cannot comment any further.” The 2017 Super Bowl airs Sunday Feb. 5 on CTV, TSN and RDS. Published in MediainCanada, Friday 13th January 2017.
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    CMDC Responds to OPC’s Consent and Privacy Discussion Paper
    October 26, 2016
    Read the joint-submission by CMDC and ACA to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on the topic of consent under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
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    The Speed of Culture is Redefining Marketing
    April 26, 2016
    Consumers’ access to the products and experiences they seek is made easier by technology and, increasingly, by the savvy of marketers and our expertise to quickly and quietly help facilitate it. Through a command of ad tech, data science and content, we’re uniquely positioned to effectively steer meaningful consumer-brand engagements.
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    Thinkbox CEO prepares to bring her defence of TV to Canada
    April 22, 2016
    Lindsey Clay has heard all the arguments against TV ad spending – the dominance of digital media, the indifference among millennials, the streaming effect – and she’s not buying any of it.

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