Procter & Gamble Chief Issues Powerful Media Transparency Plan

The digital advertising industry is being disrupted as more independent marketing analytics, verification and attribution technologies go to market. This disruption is being accelerated by top advertisers like Procter & Gamble who contribute to the $200B of annual advertising spend in the United States. Here are some excerpts from Procter & Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer keynote at the US IAB Annual Leadership Meeting last week:

P&G to review all agency contracts in 2017 in four-step plan to bring transparency to media supply chain.

“Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble’s influential global chief brand officer, has urged all parts of the marketing industry to come together to tackle media transparency in a keynote address to the US IAB Annual Leadership meeting in Florida yesterday (29 January).”

“We’re not growing enough. Despite spending an astounding $200 billion in advertising in the US, the growth rate of our collective industries is pretty anemic. Some might say we’re squandering this wonderful gift of technology. Perhaps we could chalk it up to growing pains since digital advertising is relatively new. We’ve been giving a pass to the new media in the spirit of learning – P&G included. But together we’re all spending $72 billion in digital advertising – surpassing TV. The days of giving digital a pass are over – it’s time to grow up. It’s time for action.

“We need better advertising to drive growth enabled by media transparency to drive a clean and productive media supply chain. Better advertising and media transparency are closely related. ”

“The days of giving digital a pass are over. In fact, according to the Wold Federation of Advertisers, some 90% of marketers are looking to review agency contracts in the hope it will deliver greater transparency.”

“We realize there is no sustainable advantage in a complicated, non-transparent, inefficient media supply chain. Getting to a clean, productive media supply chain is the level playing field” we all want and need.”

“We make decisions involving billions of dollars on where to invest our media money. These are big bets so we need objective, validated measurement to be sure that we’re getting the viewability, audience, reach and frequency we pay for. Regardless of how much we trust and respect the people from whom we buy media, we need an objective, impartial judge to perform the measurement.”

“So at P&G, we’re expecting every media supplier – including publishers and measurement vendors – to adopt accredited third-party verification during 2017. It’s taking some work, including technology investments, especially since there are some very legitimate data privacy issues which need to be addressed.”

“So we are now pouring over every agency contract for full transparency by the end of 2017”

“This is a matter of collective will. If we can find a way to drive cars autonomously, we can find a way to track media.”

“I had a moment of clarity,” Mr. Pritchard continued,” and replied, ‘Well, hundreds of millions of dollars may not seem like a lot to you, but it’s a lot to us. We’ve been leaning forward for the past several years. And it’s not going to stop unless you get validated, accredited third-party verification.'”

Advertising AgeCampaign Live, The Drum

Future of Transportation

There are three key trends that will disrupt the transportation industry in the decades ahead: Self Driving (Autonomous) Vehicles, On Demand Vehicle Sharing, and Electric Powered Vehicles. Each of these innovations are in a different stage of the “Hype Cycle” theory but they are all dealing with a similar challenge:  High switching costs and complex infrastructure requirements.  When these costs are absorbed by an enterprise (such as Uber) adoption can grow more quickly than when the costs are the responsibility of the consumer (Tesla).

These headwinds have caused the automotive industry to lag other industries that have already been turned on their head by the introduction of new ideas and technologies. For example, industries that have seen rapid adoption as a result of lower switching costs (or even savings) for the consumer include buying goods from Amazon instead of brick and mortar stores, consuming content online instead of through traditional outlets, and the “cord cutting” movement where cable television providers are being replaced by a combination of internet streaming applications and traditional over the air TV antennas. It should not be a surprise that these markets have moved quickly as all of the transaction values are relatively low and result in an instantaneous benefit for the consumer.  Changes in the automotive business are much more complex, expensive, and in certain cases provide benefits that are not immediately recognized by all consumers.

Eventually the transportation industry will fully transform but it will take much longer as existing vehicles must complete their useful life, new infrastructure and technologies introduced at a competitive price, and our culture adjusted to accept these new concepts.Regardless, everyone should pay attention to these three inevitable disruptions in the marketplace.  To help with this learning,  I have included three videos that explain each innovation regardless of the fact that each product is still in a very early stage of adoption.  I hope you find these presentations interesting and in the meantime enjoy the freedom of driving yourself down the road while burning $40 a barrel oil.

On Demand Vehicle Sharing: Uber’s plan to get more people into fewer cars

Electric Powered Vehicles: The mind behind Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity

Self Driving (Autonomous) Vehicles: How a driverless car sees the road

KPCB’s 2015 Internet Trends Report

The 2015 Internet Trends Report is must read material.  This research is conducted by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a leading Venture Capital firm who has financed many of today’s most prominent technology companies.

The comprehensive 197 page report covers key internet trends, changes in the mobile internet advertising landscape, the transformation of the work environment in the United States, the evolution of internet adoption in China and India, as well as an analysis of public and private company valuations.

This is the 17th edition of the Internet Trends report which has provided insights into emerging trends in the technology industry since 2001.

Download the Internet Trends Report

Le Web

The Le Web London conference took place last week and many of the presentations are now available on their youtube channel. This is the second time I have watched Le Web and they have delivered another interesting set of videos from the event. Here are a few highlights:

The Collaborative Economy: How People, Startups, and Corporations build a new Market
Jeremiah Owyang, Partner, Altimeter Group

Sharing Economy
Loic Le Meur

Highlights from My Experience at NYU’s Stern School of Business

Here is an article I wrote for the NYU Stern website to help them connect with prospective students. It summarizes some of the highlights from my first year in business school:

I am a current NYU Stern Executive MBA student and recently completed my first year of the program. I volunteered to share my experiences with you because I personally decided to attend NYU based on my own encounters with current students and alumni. Therefore, I encourage you to engage with us at Information Sessions and class visits. The marketing materials and business school rankings were all valuable but these sources do not offer the level of insight you will gain by speaking with the “existing customers” in the program.

Here are some key highlights from my first year in business school:

Net Present Value. Discounted Cash Flow. Time Value of Money. These concepts will wander their way into almost every class you take. So be sure to pay close attention to your initial set of finance classes. NPV, DCF and TVM are powerful tools that are immediately applicable to your business. You will learn how to properly value current and future cash flows. Our class had two spectacular finance professors and their international perspectives were as valuable as the finance and valuation topics they taught our class.

Professor Raghubir was our marketing professor for the core course. She has a deep portfolio of corporate and academic experience and offered an interactive class experience during our session with her. She taught us about different frameworks for understanding human motivation. This is one of the most powerful learnings from my first year because it is applicable to any business and helps you understand the type and magnitude of value you bring to your customers. In the end, these frameworks help you to achieve a clear understanding of the value you bring to your customers today. More importantly, you will also be able to determine ways to increase the value you deliver to your customers by understanding the needs that are most valuable to them. We used the Coca Cola case during this exercise to help us understand how powerful a brand can become by targeting highly complex human needs such as esteem and self actualization.

Your business school network starts with the 60 people in your cohort. We are fortunate to be surrounded by 59 unique individuals representing many different professions, industries, and cultures. I recommend attempting to establish a relationship with as many people in your immediate class because you may be surprised at the 2nd and 3rd degree connections each person ends up having. All your classes will be with your cohort in the first year of the program but be sure to reach out and connect with students from the other cohorts during events and lunches. I expect my classmates will be the strongest set of relationships I leave NYU Stern Executive MBA program with and am looking forward to joining other cohorts in my 2nd year elective courses.

Hopefully this has helped you understand what my first year at Stern entailed and I look forward to sharing my experience in the second year as new events unfold.

Insights from Quarterly Investor Calls

For years I have dialed into quarterly investor calls for a handful of the biggest technology companies. It’s one of the sources that I use to keep up on industry trends. They offer a wealth of information on financial performance but my favorite sections are when the CEO, CTO or CCO offers their perspective on the future of their market, customer, and product. By investing a couple hours you get direct access to some of the top leaders in tech. I usually take notes from each of the calls I watch and have included a recent example from Google below. I’m surprised there are only a few thousand people, mostly investors, who attend this call with Google’s leadership on a regular basis.

Insights from Google’s Q3 2012 call

There are now half a billion android devices. Mobile run rate is over 8 billion dollars vs. 2.5 billion in 2011. Majority of this from mobile advertising and a smaller contribution from google play content and apps.

Sunset 19 products last month alone – have now closed or have combined 60 products and features in the last year. As screens multiply, it’s more important than ever that services converge

Live streamed over 1 million hours of election coverage

Generating 20 million phone calls per month from click to call advertising products. Recently decided to monetize product listing ads

Sales and marketing expense up 17% QOQ primarily due to Nexus 7 launch which has generated 3 million sales as of mid October 2012. Total gross consolidated revenue grew 45% YOY, 15% QOQ to 14.1 billion

Minds and Machines

Unleashing the Industrial Internet

Below are highlights from the GE Minds and Machines conference keynote where Chris Anderson of Wired interviews Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz and Jeff Immelt CEO of GE

Opening Speaker: Andy Mcafee, Principal Research Scientist MIT

  • Rapid worldwide social development has occurred only recently due to the industrial revolution
  • Big data will soon cause the storage industry to measure capacity using “yotta”, the last prefix in the metric system.

Marc Andreessen, Founder Andreessen Horowitz

  • Moore’s Law of Sensors that are generating massive amounts of data
  • Ubiquitous communications – device’s can be wireless, should be wireless
  • Software eats the world thesis:
  • Within the industry the innovation has shifted from hardware to software
  • Mobile phone adoption has enabled software distribution which is eating retail such as the book industry
  • Major trend right now is the shift of focus from sickness to wellness. Jawbone Up device is a good example of hardware, software and analytics will not get too involved with healthcare startups due to regulation challenges.
  • We invest in companies where if the software team was removed the company would collapse. We believe that if the software team is that strong then regardless of the industry they will be able to beat the incumbents this superior understanding of software.
  • Consumer industry is where the innovation is first and then trickles upstream to the enterprise. This is how Marc came up with the idea for Salesforce. He saw the click and buy capabilities Amazon offered the consumer and wondered why that didn’t exist for the enterprise.

Jeff Immelt, CEO GE

  • The next holy grail is all about decision support and analytics. The ability to model data and predict failure.
  • It’s a billion dollar investment to make a jet 15% more fuel efficient.
  • In all our products there’s another 5-10-15% improvement in productivity identified using software analytics and data analysis
  • If you want the right engineers you have to come here (San Francisco)
  • “I’d rather acquire the people than the companies”
  • Favorite question to ask clients: if you had 10 million dollars and you were in charge of GE how would you spend it
  • 50% of all electricity is wasted. The grid has tremendous opportunity for software, analytics, and decision support.
  • One of the reasons we have hosted this Minds and Machines event is to develop our relationship with the software community.
  • We know what we don’t know. That’s why we partner with companies like
  • Accenture because they bring skills that we don’t have.
  • If you are a purchaser at a hospital our goal is to make sure that no one ever gets fired for choosing GE.