Here, Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director, Media, explains why marketers should always look beyond simple, generic rankings when deciding which media channels to use.

Despite a long and relatively steadily improving economy, consumers remain so focused on value that pricing remains retailers' most pressing business worry.

TBWA's cultural insight studio, Backslash, released a report identifying a new modern era of American activism, coined Pan Activism. In a nationwide research study, conducted with strategic brand research consultancy Hall & Partners, it was found that 85 percent of Americans took some form of activism in the past year, such as conversing with those who have differing beliefs or donating to a local business or national tragedy. The findings indicate that modern activism is no longer defined by fringe groups with singular big battles but it is more mass and characterized by small, everyday actions.

How much time do American consumers spend each day with their multimedia devices, tablets, computers, AM/FM radio, TV, or their smartphones?  By Pierre Bouvard

The imperative to compete on the basis of customer experience is heightening the job security risks of chief marketing officers who are struggling to keep up with new digitally driven ways to engage, satisfy and enrich the experience of more mobile, savvy and fickle consumers.

To really understand the attitudinal power of brands we need to look beyond the absolute scores and instead examine relative strengths and weaknesses. If more people say good things about a brand than claim to use it then that difference represents an opportunity to grow, provided that association has a positive relationship with business outcomes.   by Nigel Hollis

Yes, the 72-million strong Millennial generation is coming into their own and are starting to buy stuff. Enamored marketers are salivating (or running scared) at the prospect of serving them.  Older marketers, and students of consumerism, remember the defining impact of the last mega-generational cohort, the Baby Boomers; how they shaped consumer trends, created categories of products and services, and generally made or broke one’s business success.  By Stephen Palacios, Principal, Ahzul

The fast-moving-consumer-goods industry has a long history of generating reliable growth through mass brands. But the model that fueled industry success now faces great pressure as consumer behaviors shift and the channel landscape changes. To win in the coming decades, FMCGs need to reduce their reliance on mass brands and offline mass channels and embrace an agile operating model focused on brand relevance rather than synergies.

The other week I was involved in a little email exchange with my colleagues about the power of social influence. As usual I was getting boxed into the Luddite corner until I realize that what was worrying me was the apparent assumption that social influence was universal and all powerful. If so, I beg to differ.  by Nigel Hollis

We are at a time of unprecedented commercial opportunity in global sports. Barriers to entry have never been lower. More markets around the world than ever before are receptive to the power of sports. It’s never been easier to reach millions—even billions—of fans.

According to a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, news coverage about inaccurate, questionable and false digital media reporting measures have already caused 21 percent of marketers to pull back on advertising spend. More than 70 percent of brand leaders admit that negative news headlines have had an impact on budgets.

Despite the headlines about digital disruption in financial services, big banks are actually holding their own. Globally, financial-services revenues have grown 4 percent annually over the past ten years (thanks largely to growth in emerging markets), and fintech start-ups and large tech companies have so far captured only tiny slivers of market share.

When researching Brand Premium I interviewed a well-respected agency planner who told me that the most effective marketing campaigns traded on people’s anxieties and insecurities. I am not convinced their assertion is true but in today’s turbulent times perhaps brands should have a responsibility to accentuate the positive not add to the negative?  by Nigel Hollis

Are big media companies ready for another big wave of disruption? They’d better be. The direct-brand revolution is starting, and it might not be pretty for large incumbent players in the media industry.

With the departure of Sir Martin Sorrell  -- or SMS, as he is lovingly called -- many are now predicting the end of WPP and of agency holding companies in general, along with the business model of the tailor-made, client-specific, integrated agency offering.

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