How a ‘Weird First Date’ Could Improve Mobile Advertising

The Wall Street Journal is turning to brand CMOs amid digital challenges

WSJ will release a full report on its findings early next year.
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To work toward solving the kinks in mobile advertising, The Wall Street Journal is turning to CMOs to work through solutions.

The “WSJ Brand Council,” as it has been dubbed, will come together for an inaugural meeting at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, which kicks off next week.

WSJ’s CMO Suzi Watford said the publication recognizes that its app—which just won a Webby award, she noted—could be more transparent, mobile and, overall, better for clients.

“[W]e felt like we weren’t getting anywhere on our own,” Watford said. “By having those people in the room and the talent in the room, we knew exciting things could happen.”

WSJ’s top creatives and developers have already held smaller brainstorming sessions with CMOs from brands like Ralph Lauren and Lexus to learn about their experiences with mobile advertising.

Drew Stoneman, vp of WSJ’s global marketing solutions likened the first 30 minutes of those sessions to “a weird first date.” But he said they quickly proved to be “incredibly eye-opening.”

“We have opinions about what’s good in mobile advertising and what’s not,” Stoneman said. “Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I care about what our clients think.”

WSJ will share updates from the conversations with its partners, make the necessary updates to its app, and release a white paper on its findings early next year.

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