ANA and 4As release guidelines for diverse media suppliers
US agency trade bodies the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the 4As, alongside the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) have released guidelines for diverse media suppliers when doing business with buyers.
A previous guideline for buyers (agencies and marketers) when doing business with diverse media suppliers was previously released this May.
The guidelines build upon the work of the CMO Growth Council, which was established by the ANA and Cannes Lions to focus on driving enterprise growth.
The Growth Council previously identified four global growth priorities and a 12-point industry growth agenda, of which diversity, equity, & inclusion is a key focus area. The ANA has a mandate to “eliminate systemic investment inequalities in the media and creative supply chain”.
There are 16 guidelines for diverse media suppliers, summarized below:
1. Get the conversation started
Start conversations with the relevant stakeholders at agencies and marketers to be sure your organization is known and meets any requirements to be included in the consideration set.
2. Register your business on marketer supplier portals
Most marketers have their own portals that serve as a database for diverse suppliers. Diverse suppliers should register their businesses on these portals. Be aware that your registration here can create a first impression, so be sure to review it for accuracy before submission.
3. Make sure you are on industry resource lists
The 4As, ANA, and AIMM have developed industry resource lists to help buyers find diverse suppliers—be part of them, if appropriate.
4. Consider certification
While some marketers say certification doesn’t matter, others consider it important. Certification organizations also provide a suite of support services to diverse businesses that can be taken advantage of.
5. Understand the procurement perspective on spend
Try to understand how individual procurement departments count diverse spend, and then how your company could fit in.
6. Do your prep work
Come to meetings with an understanding of the client’s business that you are pitching and use your meeting time to probe deeper to unearth insights that can help differentiate and enhance your proposal and make it stand out.
7. Be clear on evaluation criteria
Diverse media suppliers should seek to understand how success will be measured to deliver against campaign goals and/or level-set expectations on gaps in measurement that should be highlighted from the outset.
8. Don’t just have something to sell; have something to give
Position your offering as a resource and a solution. Provide an added value beyond a media buy. Tell the buyer “what’s in it for them”. Customize your proposal to the needs of the specific buyer/situation.
9. Have your inventory accessible through key buying channels
Make sure that your inventory is accessible through key buying channels, e.g., if your inventory is accessible programmatically, ensure it is on all primary exchanges.
10. Be aware of technical requirements
Find out if there are requirements such as allowing third-party tagging and/or ad verification vendors, etc. Are there assessments that can be done with preferred partners to determine if there will be any content flags?
11. Push back on extended payment terms
The business models and livelihoods of smaller players in the marketing supply chain, like diverse suppliers, can be threatened by extended terms. Such companies require predictable cash flow, often don’t have access to large lines of credit, and have pricing models that do not reflect the costs to their business resulting from extended terms.
12. Take advantage of marketers’ supplier development plans
Many marketers are investing resources to help develop diverse suppliers. Diverse suppliers should be aware that marketers have such development plans and ask if there is an opportunity for inclusion.
13. Provide reasonable lead times
Be extremely mindful of lead times, as everyone is busy and has booked calendars weeks in advance. Some general guidelines include: provide two weeks’ lead time for a Zoom/video call; provide four weeks’ notice for a webinar; provide two to three months’ notice for a multi-day event.
14. The value of case studies
Buyers appreciate learning via case studies. Diverse media suppliers are encouraged to curate case studies displaying work they have done with national advertisers.
15. Be in it for the long haul
Understand that you have to make a long-term commitment to get business from marketers and agencies. Relationships take time to develop.
16. If you don’t get the business, request feedback
Ask for a 15-minute call for feedback and suggestions for improvement and do your best to make this easy for the marketer and/or agency. Consider providing a few questions for them to answer, ideally via a call but otherwise via email.