Posted by Jeremy Spitzberg • Jul 31, 2019 7:46:01 PM
Last week's earnings call with Unilever CEO, Alan Jope, revealed some interesting tidbits for the brand safety audience.
As reported by MarketingWeek, Unilever has invested in combating ad fraud, and is seeing an ROI.
[Jope] also highlighted issues such as ad fraud as a concern as it shifts more spend and focus into digital. But he claimed Unilever is ahead of industry benchmarks and that fraud levels for its marketing are in the low single digits, compared to up to 30% in some markets.
“We are sure our investment is effective. We have strong safeguards on fraudulent media activities and believe we are ahead [of the industry] in terms of managing and mitigating against this,” Jope said.
No details were given as to what they are doing above and beyond their competitors, but it will bear watching.
Something else, however, that really caught our eye at the Brand Safety Institute:
Jope admitted that hiring people able to run “complex” digital campaigns remains a challenge and is adding to costs.
“The bottleneck on great work is having warm bodies to run digital campaigns, rather than absolute digital spend,” he said. “[We need to get] people in place to run more complex digital campaigns.”
That's a little vague, but thankfully, he expanded on the idea in an interview with The Drum.
Nowadays we will increasingly specialize on business management experts, communications experts, and innovation experts, and within communications expertise you will have audience segmentation analysts, pure data analysts, programmatic media people," he said.
"There will be even further specializations, in particular within the communications’ space. That’s to say the roles will be specialized, not necessarily the people. In other words in a person will move around in their marketing career to prepare them for the bigger jobs where you have to pull all of that together.
So Unilever has a human resources problem! Maybe we can help.
If they are breaking their workflows into specialized roles, then surely they have some in-house brand safety expertise on hand to run the processes and manage the technology they have in place to combat ad fraud. However, they're having a hard time finding enough people with those skills. Meanwhile, at BSI, we're committed to growing the pool of knowledgeable brand safety officers.
It's encouraging to think that if we succeed in that, then major buyers like Unilever can continue to win the fight against ad fraud. Not only that, but if there's a career ladder for these people, "to prepare them for the bigger jobs where you have to pull all of that together", then brand safety will have a larger seat at the table in the future.