Citing 'Asymmetry,' ANA Calls For New C-Suite Role: Chief Media Officer

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) this morning released the second edition in a series of reports analyzing its in-depth studies of the programmatic media-buying supply chain, and one of the top recommendations for advertisers to formalize a new C-level role -- the Chief Media Officer -- in an effort to overcome one of the main issues identified by the studies: information asymmetry.

“Marketers are not fully skilled in optimizing the management of their data,” ANA CEO Bob Liodice explains in a forward to the just-released new edition, adding,  “Of critical importance, marketers are even less skilled in securing log-level data — a principal pathway to effective decision-making and driving growth via programmatic activities.”

Such data is among the main fine and complex points of information strung along the programmatic supply chain that has been identified by the studies as contributing to the inefficiencies of programmatic ad buys. That was one of the key takeaways from a follow-up qualitative analysis published by Kroll, which was one of the consultants commissioned by the ANA to study the transparency issues associated with the programmatic media-buying supply chain.



"In terms of information asymmetry, in a transparent business arrangement, both parties to the transaction have essentially equal access to material information. And that’s how we define transparency. You don’t need to know everything, but you need to know what’s material," Kroll Regional Managing Director of North America Forensic Investigations and Intelligence Richard Plansky explained to MediaPost in an interview conducted in September.

According to findings released in the latest installment of the programmatic transparency study, only a third of ANA members said they felt knowledgeable about the "quality of inventory" they acquired through programmatic auctions.

"Advertisers should appoint a Chief Media Officer (either in title or function) who should take responsibility for the internal media management and governance processes that deliver performance, media accountability, and transparency," the ANA recommends in the new report, noting, "This executive should be the centralized internal resource to drive integration and share best practices across internal brand teams and external agencies.

"The Chief Media Officer should be the internal subject matter expert on the many important and complex media issues confronting advertisers today. Digital media expertise should be a foundational skill for this position.

"Furthermore, it is recommended that the Chief Media Officer develop relationships with key external media properties and programmatic supply chain partners with whom the advertiser conducts business."

The report cites the recommended role of the Chief Media Officer seven times, but never uses an acronym or suggests what it should be, given that CMO is will understood to represent Chief Marketing Officers.

2 comments about "Citing 'Asymmetry,' ANA Calls For New C-Suite Role: Chief Media Officer".
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  1. Bela Papp from Microsoft, December 5, 2023 at 12:02 p.m.

    Suggest CCO, Chief Content Officer because Content is broader than (external) media, and encompasses the internal efforts big and small in the company and its internal stakeholders contributing to 24/7 quality content output.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 5, 2023 at 12:09 p.m.

    But most branding advertisers of the sort who advertise on national "TV" already have a "media director" or some similar title, and in many cases a small staff of media savvy people who support the director. So what happens to them? Do they get new titles? Are they retrained to become programmatic digital buying experts? Indeed, is this call---which we have heard before--- for a new type of advertiser media exec about digital -only buys or does the CMO have to know about the major medium of most branding campaigns---"TV"----also. In which case, isn't that staff already in place? 

    Color me confused.

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