Our Insights

Who Is Your Media Expert?

October 5, 2016

More and more frequently, we’re stumbling upon articles in business publications advocating strategic decisions we made long ago as savvy and forward thinking.

When we built our company 18 years ago, we didn’t make any decisions we thought were particularly revolutionary, even if they bucked the agency norms. To us, it just made sense to rally around media, to invest in technology and build a team of experts, and to treat our clients as true partners who benefited from these investments.

Now comes an Ad Age article making a compelling case that companies hire a Chief Media Officer. To us, the case makes perfect sense, as author Bill Duggan states: “Media is often the largest marketing expense (make that investment) at most companies, and given the increasing complexity and fragmentation of the media environment, the role of chief media officer could provide tremendous value at a critical time.”

But we do diverge in the belief that one dedicated expert is the ideal solution for dealing with the challenge. Even if you can find a highly qualified Chief Media Officer – they’re not exactly lined up outside of HR – why should you settle for a single resource with a single point of view and a lone collection of experiences in one or two specific industries? We think a team – the Lewis Media Partner Team, for example – is at the same time a more cost-effective and robust approach. We regularly witness this approach drive an objectively designed and effective media plan that is inclusive, not exclusive. Our team brings more brains to the table, specialized skill sets tuned up with the latest trends and best practices. Plus, we have our hands on the top-shelf technology and platforms that would normally require a separate (and hefty) investment.

Here is the list of responsibilities that Ad Age and Duggan state this in-house expert could be charged with. We check the box for all of them; however, we noticed a big gap: the traditional space, which we’ve added. To be an effective Chief Media Officer, you need a team who is experienced in all media, not just digital.

  • Transparency
  • Media agency contracts
  • Opt-in agreements with media agencies
  • Programmatic buying
  • Content marketing
  • Fraud in digital advertising
  • Viewability in digital advertising
  • Native advertising
  • Sourced traffic /audience extensions
  • Connected TV
  • Addressable TV
  • Influencer marketing
  • Ad blocking
  • TV, radio, print and out-of-home buying

We agree that companies need to invest in a resource to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of media spending, but we don’t think a single in-house expert gives you the most bang for your buck. And it certainly doesn’t yield truly objective expertise. You need a team that’s also a partner. And we can be both.

Aurelia Lewis