09/14/2010 11:20 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Advertisers Have Stopped Complaining and Learned to Love the Media

After more than a decade of advertisers' complaints and discontent with media, their tone has noticeably changed in the past several months. Upcoming ANA conferences are focusing more on success stories and positive experiences than the calls-to-action media vendors have come to expect. Marketers are being invited to industry events to extol the values and virtues of their relationships with media and agency "partners" rather than to deliver wake-up calls and "Come to Jesus" sermons demanding that media and agency suppliers step up to the plate and deliver better service, support and evidence of return-on-investment.

The holy grail of R-O-I has subtly changed as marketers have invested in analytics resources such as Marketshare Partners and TRA, and ultimately learned that the marketing and media suppliers they have been challenging to improve are actually delivering more and better results than expected. While traditional media metrics such as Nielsen ratings will remain dominant for the remainder of this decade at least, their purpose and role have been more clearly defined as procurement tools, required for media negotiation and purchase but subservient to more marketing focused and results-oriented planning research.

This is good news for investors who are concerned about the health of national media, advertising and marketing services companies and the many early stage companies that are being funded on expectations of advertiser support. The U.S. national media business should be held up as a standard of economic well being. While it's clear that traditional media and marketing companies must invest in and nurture digital enterprises and innovation, marketers are demonstrating renewed confidence in the traditional pillars of national media and marketing communications.

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Disclosure: Jack Myers is an advisor to Marketshare Partners and TRA. For a full list of Myers' portfolio companies and underwriters, visit

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