How J&J's Social Responsibility Agenda Translates To Media Decisions

Adam Benaroya is director, global media capabilities + operations at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health. He will be a speaker at the Association of National Advertisers Media Conference in February. ANA Group Executive Vice President Bill Duggan recently sat down with Benaroya for a pre-conference interview.

ANA: Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health has a rich history of innovation and commitment to corporate social responsibility. How does this translate to media decisions and deployment?

Benaroya: Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health’s commitment to this agenda was clear upon my arrival based on its longstanding investment in a dedicated media brand safety and data governance function. We’re active with industry bodies like the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, and key media partners to shape their responsibility agendas, and we’re now enhancing the team’s remit to state our goals for media’s responsibility in data ethics, DE&I and sustainability.



Right now, there are a lot of commonalities across the marketing community on what we want to stand for and where we want to influence – for example, reducing carbon emissions in media execution. We’re excited about the potential of these commonalities and partnership as we believe when we partner together as a community, we can drive a more meaningful outcome.

ANA: About 18 months ago you joined J&J Consumer Health after six years at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. How is your HPE experience influencing what you are driving at J&J?

Benaroya: As much as I enjoyed working in B2B Tech, I was excited about the opportunity to move back to a consumer marketing role. With that said, I came into this role with a strong belief that there are transferrable insights between the two industries.  

An example of this is audience-first media strategy. B2B organizations naturally have rich customer data and insights, which helped accelerate the transition to an audience-first model and the organization transformation required to support. Many consumer industries have not had that luxury and are now just building that consumer-facing capability.  In moving to my new role, it was an immediate opportunity to bring in an outsider perspective on key requirements to support this transition.

ANA: You have deep experience in media data and analytics versus traditional planning or buying. How does this background shape your approach to media strategy?

Benaroya: All facets of media strategy today require an inherent comfort with data -- whether it’s in how we translate our audience into media activation, define requirements for an ad tech stack, or even more generally, how we’re making data-informed decisions.

More specifically, I had the benefit of leading an agency analytics team during the onset of programmatic, which required a deep partnership between our analytics team, emerging ad tech partners, and agency trading desks. Being a part of the industry’s shift to audience-based buying, and the increased emphasis of data at all parts of the planning cycle, was formative in how I approach the role today.

ANA:. What new skillsets and capabilities are required today to build a best-in-class center of excellence?

Benaroya: Building specialist skillsets in the COE is the clear starting point. You need to have those specialists in-house to realistically guide the organization on what capability development is needed and to directly own that roadmap with internal and external partners. It provides the credibility on what the COE can uniquely provide the organization.

Equally, I’d recommend bringing in non-typical media skillsets to complement the team. For example – can we rotate someone from a brand team that has a passion for media, or bring in someone with an ecommerce background? Combining media and business vantage points into one team upskills everyone. It also provides another layer that ensures we translate how investment in media capabilities results in business outcomes.

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