"Thanks Keith and Marc. But WTF does my business do?"

It’s about time we had something advertisingy to talk about on LinkedIn.

ICYMI – earlier this week Unilever CMO, Keith Weed, set the alarm on a so-far snoozy 2018 by delivering a rallying cry that must now be a familiar sight to regulars at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting.

In echoes of Marc Pritchard’s landmark speech at the same event last year, Weed gave digital another kick up the arse, calling for more social responsibility from digital media players that breed division in society or fail to protect children.

It’s another powerful headline-worthy speech from another popular and influential figurehead of our industry. But a year on from our first heavyweight CMO call-to-arms, has anything really changed?

Admittedly Pritchard’s speech last year was great for our business. More transparency in fees, compulsory brand safety and more independent verification – it was like we wrote the script for him. We even used his quotes in our pitching deck.

But for most of the advertisers we speak to ‘digital’ is a still a BIG struggle.

The majority are way behind the likes of P&G and Unilever in their quest to perfect their digital advertising set-up. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s just the way it is.

Budget, resource and expertise limitations make getting ‘digital right’ extremely difficult for most businesses.

And all this public ruffling of digital feathers has caused many to freeze. No one quite knows what to do next.

It’s a bit like when that clever kid in school starts talking about how much they’ve revised for the exam and you’re standing there thinking ‘but I haven’t even got past the first module’.

Where do you even start? Data ownership? Changing agency? In-housing? Or do you just give up? (spoiler: the answer is no)

If I were a CMO of a non-giant advertiser I’d focus on small steps right now. The answer isn’t trying to change everything at once.

Prioritise processes first. Put a logical and realistic project plan in place to improve the processes in your key digital media channels. Start there. And the rest will follow.

Digital advertising doesn’t have to complicated. And if you (or your key stakeholders) don’t understand parts of it, find someone you trust to advise and help you.

*cough* Appraise *cough*

Or we can all just wait til next year’s IAB Annual Leadership Meeting?