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Mark Mclaughlin

Member since March 2011

Articles by Mark All articles by Mark

  • Simplicity Eats Complexity For Lunch in MAD on 06/01/2014

    A recent column by Dave Morgan about the growing complexity of the digital media industry inspired me to weigh in on how it is impacting the relationship between marketers and their agencies due to three big trends: Agencies unbundled and rolled up into big holding companies; marketers putting procurement executives in charge of agency compensation; and the Internet that has matured and profoundly changed consumer behavior. There is no cause and effect here -- despite the co-dependencies, these three things evolved independently.

Comments by Mark All comments by Mark

  • NFL Plans To Change Player Conduct Policy As P&G Cancels Promotion by Wayne Friedman (MediaDailyNews on 09/19/2014)

    The first ten years of my career at Benton & Bowles and then DMB&B were deeply intertwined with P&G. That wonderful client taught me the highest standards of integrity and character were the only acceptable standards within which to operate. I guess I'm naive because I thought P&G had never changed in this context. Yet, this lame and whimpy reaction to the NFL's tolerance for abuse against women and children shows that they have even changed their principles. I guess the ROI on Cover Girl's sponsor relationship with the NFL must be positive and the data is what matters today.

  • Smut, Drugs, Yachts, And The Death Of The Middle Class: A Light Opera by Barbara Lippert (Mad Blog on 07/11/2014)

    To work at Google, you need to have a very high IQ. And yet, this dude leaves his security camera running while he shoots heroin and screws a whore. Hmmmm? Sherlock Holmes would find that a bit too easy.

  • Why Madison Avenue Wants To Swim In The Dark Pool by Joe Mandese (MediaPost Weekend on 07/06/2014)

    Excellent point, Ed Papazian. The digital media/advertising industry can source its growth over the past decade back to budgets that used to be spent on direct mail, telemarketing, yellow pages and classified ads. The holding company media agencies barely touched these budgets in the first place. Now, they want to create "dark pools" of inventory as if their clients have somehow anointed them as the leaders of their direct response campaigns. That's rarely the case.

  • Why Madison Avenue Wants To Swim In The Dark Pool by Joe Mandese (MediaPost Weekend on 07/06/2014)

    A holding company dark pool of digital inventory is a well understood concept. Marketers have two questions: 1) My agency is not a media rep firm and I've spent years fighting media agency non-transparent mark-ups all around the world. Why should I allow my agency to set a new precedent that they are allowed to mark up the price of inventory in a non-transparent manner? 2) The decision to buy programmatically is a decision to align with the best computer scientists and predictive modeling mathematicians. My agency is working hard to convince me that I am better off buying inventory through a programmatic machine, but why do they think that I will choose THEIR machine?

  • How Cross-Platform Video Plans Can Optimize Reach Today by John R. Osborn (Video Insider on 06/24/2014)

    Step 1. Make sure all of your ad impressions are specific to the same demo target audience. Step 2. Add up all of the demo ad impressions for each channel, individually, and divide the impressions (numerator) by the US population for the same demo target (denominator), multiply by 100 and you have your GRPs for each channel. Step 3. Use the best media research source for each individual channel to get the demo target reach for the campaign. Nielsen for TV and comScore for digital is fine. Step 4. Add the GRPs across channels to get total GRPs Step 5. Combine the Reach from TV (R1) with the Reach from digital (R2) by using this formula: (R1+R2)-(R1*(R2/100))*.96. Now, you have the total reach for the two channels (TV and digital). Step 6. Total GRPS (numerator) over Reach (denominator) will give you the average frequency for the campaign (average duplication, or average number of times someone in the target audience saw the ad among the people reached) You can invest 1000X more energy into data tools that try to blend the reach across two channels and you will get a 1% improvement over the accuracy of the steps I just explained. This is REALLY SIMPLE. It is our passion for complexity and our ignorance of the fundamentals of media math and media research that makes this turn into something hard to do.

  • Restoration Hardware's Catalog Lands With A Thud by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 06/20/2014)

    Many smart marketing executives have noted that we are all now talking about Restoration Hardware. That is why the companies that track social network buzz are paid big bucks to understand the sentiment underlying the commentary. The legacy of "all publicity is good publicity" is obsolete. When the PR is negative word-of-mouth being spread from one consumer to another with the catalyst of digital social networks, the simple idea that RH is top-of-mind is not likely to drive revenue growth.

  • Restoration Hardware's Catalog Lands With A Thud by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 06/20/2014)

    One of my most popular posts on Facebook reads like this... "Restoration Hardware: Let me see if I've got this right. You cut down trees in Canada and truck the logs to a mill. The mill grinds them into pulp and then the pulp is trucked to a paper plant to create huge rolls of paper. The huge rolls of paper get trucked to printing presses that print 15 POUNDS OF CATALOGS. The catalogs are bundled in plastic and then UPS trucks them to every home in America. Then, each homeowner groans as they lift the damn thing off the doorstep and carry it to their paper recycling garbage can in the back of the house. Or, in my case, the homeowner briefly stops to take a picture of the message that says that RH did this as one of their "SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES" - honestly you cannot make this stuff up. I've been involved with brand building and brand marketing for 30 years and this is the worst initiative I have ever seen. Hopefully I won't hurt my back now as I take this out to the paper recycling can."

  • Simplicity Eats Complexity For Lunch by Mark McLaughlin (MAD on 06/01/2014)

    Leave it to the creative community in Australia to take everything I just said in this article much better than I ever could.

  • It's Time To Drive Complexity Out of the Digital Media World by Dave Morgan (Online Spin on 05/22/2014)

    Driving a Ferrari is a complex task. The car is sophisticated, the roads are many, the conditions change all the time, the laws are arcane and many of the most important skills are intuitive. But, driving a Ferrari is not complicated. Complicated is when you need to master the underlying mechanics and technologies before you even start the car. Complicated would be when the roads and the rules all change every time you get inside a different kind of car. Complex suggests a challenge worth mastering because the logic of the opportunities that come with the effort are comprehensible. Complicated suggests a challenge that is hard to comprehend because the variables are overwhelming and the benefit is ambiguous. Digital advertising is supposed to be complex. No one debates that. It's our apparently self-destructive passion for keeping it complicated that has everybody's attention.

  • It's Time To Drive Complexity Out of the Digital Media World by Dave Morgan (Online Spin on 05/22/2014)

    When ad agencies were compensated based on a media commission and the mark-up on production, the agency and the marketer were aligned around the benefits of common sense, pragmatism and macro outcomes for the brands. The agency and marketer were aligned as partners. Now, agencies are compensated based on the scope-of-work. Digital ad agencies want everything to be overwhelmingly complicated for their clients because that protects their role and it supports the case for a large scope-of-work. The born-digital media companies scattered across the Lumascape are only too happy to oblige the agencies. After all, these ad-tech firms are funded by investors who invest in technology, not advertising solutions. Talking about the algorithm and the SaaS and the programmatic is just too cool to resist. The ad-tech solution and the digital agency buyer are focused on incredibly microscopic outcomes for the brand. The attention to detail for the ROI of a $200,000 media buy is mind-boggling because the OPERATIONAL inefficiency overwhelms any media efficiency. Today, the digital agencies and the ad-tech companies are partnered around the benefits of complexity and it leaves marketers feeling very lonely. For direct response budgets where the agencies are just shepherds, it does not matter too much. But, for attracting brand advertising budgets away from TV where the nuances of the creative content and the media science of Relevance and Reach are critical skill sets, this mess creates no value.

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