Ben Young
Ben Young
November 16, 2018

One big thing
Brands should adopt billable hours – but link that to the outcomes they need to create this year. I.e each hour could be worth $100k in growth.

The timesheet has been a staple of ad agencies for decades. The business model dictates that they need to know where every hour is going. It keeps them focused and on-track (as much as creatives hate filling them out).

Brands should also adapt this same mindset. The reason being, is in larger bureaucracies, hidden inefficiencies like spending a ton of time on workflow, analytics, or publishing content can directly affect business outcomes. So if the marketing demand is 4 percent growth on the year, more efficient human capital hours can have a positive effect on that outcome. Hours need to be allocated toward that mission, and more useful productive hours, mean more effort expended toward the goal.

This mindset might change how a brand thinks about how they structure meetings, investments, the true cost of trying that shiny new channel, and remind them to think long and hard about the outcomes they are shooting for and what they need to do to get there.

Notable stories this week

  • Quartz relaunches, with a new app and community aspects.
  • [From us] Killing Wasted Spend: how to staunch the bleeding of digital dollars and reignite growth.
  • The UK publisher alliance Ozone (Guardian, The Telegraph, News UK and Reach) had their first campaign launch this week.
  • Vox had their quasi one year anniversary of explainer videos earlier this week. Armando Turco shared that theyโ€™d done 50+ explainer videos, for clients including Google, AT&T, NFL and Gates Foundation.

  • Related, Vox announced the A-List, a subset of Concert to help advertisers buy across their entertainment-focused brands.
  • Nativo launches the content library to help streamline branded content campaigns.
  • LinkedIn now suggests the best content for company pages to share.
  • SheKnows rebrands as SheMedia, focusing on micro content i.e. Instagram influencers.


  • SAP acquires Qualtrics, nabbing them ahead of an intended IPO for an all cash deal.
  • ^ This acquisition indicates an emerging trend, of using marketing tech as the flytrap to recruit brands to enterprise stacks. Same as Moat at Oracle.
  • Sojern raises $120m from TCV partners to focus on the travel sector.

Campaign of the week

Datapoints of note

  • 47% of in-house programmatic struggles with ROI attribution.
  • Digital Ad Spend hits record-breaking $49.5B for first half of 2018. A 23% YOY increase.
  • In an August 2018 study by Gartner of 621 marketing leaders in North America and the UK, respondents reported that, on average, they expect to spend 29% of their budget on marketing technology this year, up from 22% in 2017. This makes marketing tech the single biggest investment area for marketing resources.
  • ^ Thatโ€™s more than they anticipate to spend on labour.
  • Bidtellect released an infographic with some interesting stats ahead of Black Friday. For example, last year, they saw a 17% increase in sales compared to the year before and 66% of sales were made from mobile phones or tablets.


That’s it, Happy Friday.



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