Once upon a time, “stores” were buildings made of bricks and mortar that sold an inventory of a few thousand products during regular business hours. The digital revolution changed all that: e-commerce retailers created web shops that were open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Media is viewed as a complex headache by advertisers who are failing to provide leadership in this critical investment area, according to a new report from media change consultants ID Comms.

Walmart, The Home Depot and Macy’s fiscal Q4 2016 earnings painted a mixed picture Tuesday, but they all highlight one common theme: Physical stores are still important, and online sales and digital strategies are key to bringing traffic and sales to stores.

By Gonzalo López Martí - Creative director, etc. / LMMiami.com

  • Absent a steady influx of walled out Mexicans and island bound Cubans, where will growth come from for US-based Spanish-speaking media outlets?

If media is to change in 2017 then the way it’s assessed also needs to change. That means better, more relevant metrics, measures that reflect how media can add value to a brand and drive business success.

News that the Department of Justice is investigating "bid rigging" by ad agencies to favor in-house agency facilities highlights how competitive bidding works in the world of advertising and exposes a problematic industry practice, one that undermines the trust between agencies, clients and vendors.  By Alex Blum

What do my customers want? The savviest executives are asking this question more frequently than ever, and rightly so. Leading companies understand that they are in the customer-experience business, and they understand that how an organization delivers for customers is beginning to be as important as what it delivers.

It’s not unusual for careers to get off to wobbly starts as young people, hampered by their lack of experience and contacts, find it difficult to achieve a firm footing.

Growth ambitions and the pace of change are high in an uncertain market. Defensive strategies being implemented by chief financial officers are demanding rapid and sustained cost reduction from procurement. Driven by a lack of talent and increasing digital innovation, the traditional procurement operating model has to change.

Madison Avenue Manslaughter outlines the hows and whys of steadily declining fees, increased workloads, diminishing industry perception and morale, kickback scandals and opacity characterizing relationships among advertisers, holding companies, media buying companies and creative ad agencies.

Traditionally, brands have the option of either cutting cost or putting up prices to boost margins are deciding to go for a more premium positioning.

As retailers begin to expand beyond geographic boundaries, they also face pressure from consumers to “keep it local.”  Balancing globalization with localization has quickly become a priority for retailers looking to connect with their customers both in home markets and abroad.

The report describes how companies presently must sift through the promotional noise and hyperbole surrounding emerging technologies to find those solutions offering real potential. To realize that potential, they should become “kinetic” organizations — companies with the dexterity and vision required to thrive amid ongoing technology-fueled disruption.

An in-depth analysis of the current state of media ROI analysis has found that while progress has been made toward development of methods that enable near real-time cross-platform attribution and ROI analysis, much work still needs to be done and few viable integrated systems for looking at consumer behavior cross-platform are yet available.

If one were to equate the difference between the 4As and the ANA -- the two associations which govern the ad/media agency and brand marketer communities respectively -- to the differences between the Confederacy and Union states, the case for, or against, transparency should become abundantly clear.  By David Smith and Tim McHale

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