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Strategic Initiatives 

In 2013, Strategic Initiatives continued its mission to create and participate in industry-wide partnerships that have the potential to improve the best practices of the community, particularly 4A's member agencies.

Recognizing the importance of data and its impact on the marketing industry, in June 2013 the 4A's announced the creation of its Data Advisory Council, a stellar cross-section of industry thought leaders with expertise in data and analytics. The DAC was assembled to help the 4A's formulate education initiatives and guidance to educate, inform and elevate conversations around data usage to benefit its member agencies. One of the initial projects undertaken by the new advisory council was staging the first 4A's Data Summit, held in October.

The 4A's established the Media Leadership Council (MLC) with John Montgomery, COO, GroupM Interactive, as the new chair. During 2013, the committee determined their three most important issues to begin tackling mobile in 2013 - mobile, cross platform measurement and addressable media (which includes programmatic buying using "big data" sources).

The 4A's took an active or leading role in working with its partners in the advertising industry in multiple arenas in 2013 including:

Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS), the initiative designed to engage 4A's members to develop a new digital currency to improve the planning and buying of digital advertising and serve as a new currency for cross platform planning, buying and measuring. During 2013, both the buy and sell sides of the community agreed that viewable impressions should be the new currency for digital media. This represented a major shift from served impression and squares with traditional media currency.

Ad-ID started as a 4A's-generated idea coming out of the FAST Conference in 1998. By 2013, Ad-ID evolved to the point that it has been accepted to become the universal ad industry identification currency. The talent payment contract signed in spring 2013 by advertisers and the SAG-AFTRA union requires Ad-ID as a mandatory identifier. Official implementation is scheduled to begin April 2014.

4A's Partnerships with the ANA
The 4A's/ANA MASB (Marketing Accountability Standards Board) initiative was started at the ANA's request. This project originally was established to find a way to link brand value and marketing communication efforts. 4A's participated in the February 2013 MASB annual event where 4A's and ANA jointly urged MASB to focus on brand value, not brand valuation because the latter would require putting brands on the balance sheet, which would depreciate marketing expenditures over several years rather than expensing in the year the expenses happened.

Separately, the 4A's was invited to join ANA in a separate brand value initiative. The objective is similar to the MASB project with the hope for a future launch.

Other Strategic Initiatives
In 2013, the 4A's launched its Agency 2020 initiative, focused on unleashing the value of agencies as idea-creating Intermediaries, as well as identifying how agencies can best align strategy, structure, and capability to support clients' business growth. Survey findings from agency and client-side communities, will be presented at Transformation LA: The Idea Effect March 16-19, will provide strategic guidance and practical insights on how to best focus their business and equip their teams for the future.

With an eye towards building the future of the industry and the next generation of leaders, the 4A's began efforts in 2013 to highlight and showcase the talents of millennials working in the industry with a Rising Media Stars panel at its annual Transformation conference. The successful effort resulted in an initiative to engage millennials on an ongoing basis.

The Rising Stars, comprised of millennials from more than 20 member agencies, developed goals for the next year which included providing 4A's senior management with ideas on best practices for recruiting and retaining millennials in advertising in the face of significant competition, especially from technology companies. They also began developing an event focused on social responsibility to be held in April 2014 in New York.

My Notebook

My Notebook

4A's Agency Communications Summit 2016
June 8 | Conference
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