I've written frequently that "change" is an over-used word. In a business plan I wrote in 1980 when I was an executive at CBS-TV, I emphasized the need for change, as emerging technologies such as cable impacted our businesses and revenue models. Before and since, there has been non-stop change in the media and advertising business. Do you remember any time in your career when change has not been an industry mantra? "Transformation," "Transition," "Reinvention." All over-used and redundant. But today, unlike just a few years ago, patterns are emerging that inform us how to change, that empower us to form a reasonably reliable vision for the future, and to adapt our businesses and revenue models accordingly. Here are five future looking trends in media and advertising that we can confidently incorporate into our strategic planning, organizational restructuring and investments.
AGENCY AND MEDIA REALIGNMENT AND REINVENTION
- Programmatic and procurement based media buying and selling will gain increased priorityacross the full media landscape with a focus on algorithm-based decision-making and a growing reliance on real and near-real time bidding.
- Reimagining John Wanamaker: has he been misquoted all these years? Many modern marketers are saying, behind closed doors, "Only half or less of my advertising works, and there may be bot fraud and lack of viewability, but it works and as long as it's more cost efficient than last year for the same metrics and awareness, I don't care if I know which half works. As a matter of fact, I don't care if only 30% works if I'm paying 75% less for the 30% that works."
- Strategic ideas and creativity gain increased prominence, with marketers focusing on partnering with media brands and addressable targeting to implement below-the-line marketing objectives: shopper marketing; consumer sales promotion; trade promotion, co-op and vendor support; social media innovation; audience engagement.
- Below-the-line marketing budgets will drive investments in premium branded media content,which will often be defined based on socially active brand purchase influencers.
- It will become increasingly difficult to differentiate among sincere brand advocates, paid brand advocates and corporate-funded brand advocacy.This won't necessarily be as bad as it may seem.
- Creative, account and media planning will re-bundle, adding sales promotion, social media and direct marketing resources to the mix.
- Media buying organizations will eventually figure out how to co-exist in a less competitive environmentand make a meaningful profit margin when they do.
- Issues of transparency, rebates and kick-backs will bubble-up like steroids in baseball, fomented by righteous indignation from industry leaders although everyone has known it's been going on forever. Some players will get caught in the firestorm. Some have already changed their behavior and contracts. It remains to be learned whether the practices will ultimately be embraced by the U.S. industry as they are in most of the world, or if the rest of the world will adopt the U.S. attitude.
- Media sellers will become wary of side-deals with agencies and marketers as global media companies inevitably shoulder some of the blame for agency rebates.
Read the other trends here:
2 - REINVENTING CONTENT
3 - NEW OWNERS, NEW PLAYERS, START-UP BOOT HILL
4 - DATA, BIG DATA AND EMOTIONAL DATA
5 - SMART STAFFING