Media directors' to-do lists are always hefty -- but they need to focus on five issues as they prepare for success this year. ID Comms' Global Assurance Director Victoria Potter explains.
Right now, media directors across the country are building their plans for 2022. As they power up their spreadsheets and review their negotiation priorities, they will need to take into account some challenging issues and opportunities.
Because by anticipating some of the likely challenges to come, they are likely to be better placed to thrive in 2022.
Top of the list for a smarter approach should be:
Inflation could eat into spending power. After seeing record levels of inflation in 2021, 2022 spending continues a positive trend, seeing double-digit growth. For the U.S., this centers around special events such as Winter Olympics and midterm elections, but also bounce-backs of key media categories like Cinema.
Advertisers should monitor inflation projections on a regular basis to anticipate any necessary adjustments to their expected prices. As well, longer lead times and approvals can give agencies flexibility to maximize the budget and secure inventory at optimal times.
Measurement will be key to proving value. Measurement has been a hot topic for the past few years but seems to have hit a new high this year. The key for the advertiser is how do I get a comprehensive measurement of my impact across disparate sources. With the momentum that was generated in 2021 from increased scrutiny of Nielsen and solutions offered by OEMs and other measurement companies, 2022 could be a pivotal year in driving measurement forward. And what are the KPIs? As data and measurement becomes more granular, we will see a shift from input-based KPIs to outcome-based.
Advertisers should review their agency partners' tools and tech capabilities and cross-platform measurement solutions. As well, determining the right KPIs that are focused on business outcomes vs. inputs, as well as putting measurement criteria in place will help advertisers to drive greater value.
Tackling the talent shortage. Advertising and media are not immune to the shortage of talent that we are seeing across other industries. A survey of 423 marketers and agency employees by freelancer platform We Are Rosie found that 63% plan to change jobs or careers this year. While advertisers are spending again, many agencies are faced with challenges in staffing, leading to agencies turning down new business pitches or leading to greater burnout within the agency teams.
ID Comms' own Paul Stringer wrote a great article in The Drum addressing tangible things advertisers can do to help their agencies through the talent crisis. These things include establishing a remuneration model that rewards value generation, creating a culture of retention by contributing to a positive, rewarding and inclusive working environment, and putting talent planning at the center of the agency relationship, forming strong relationships with the heads of talent.
The power of flexibility will rise. Across many industries, supply chain issues have made advertisers pivot on their media buys, and this is likely to continue. Perhaps hardest hit is the auto industry, which has seen dealer lots depleted of their normal inventory. But it can also translate into unpredictability in what will be on the shelves, and it's never been a winning idea to push people to stores to buy a product that is sold out or unavailable.
In 2022 flexibility will be even more important and, while advertisers have been pushing for greater flexibility in their buys for years, the combined effects of learnings from the pandemic and supply chain issues mean in many cases, it will be worth more than gold if there's any risk of disruptions at the checkout.
Greater connectivity will enable smarter connections. The new infrastructure bill commits additional dollars to strengthening broadband in rural areas, along with carriers strengthening 5G connectivity for similar reasons, expect to see a potential continued acceleration of activity within the digital space from previously untapped audiences.
The approach that many advertisers and agencies have been taking recently has been to segment their audiences to the media channels being used -- i.e. focusing Linear TV on an older demographic and using digital and CTV to reach a younger demographic that is more elusive in traditional media channels. As digital adoption becomes more prevalent across demographics, agencies will need to evolve their approach to account for audience changes as they happen. As well, as more of the spend moves into digital channels to account for these shifts, having tracking systems in place to monitor ad fraud, brand safety and other factors that are prevalent in the digital space.
This is an exciting time in media, and advertisers have more opportunity than ever at their fingertips. With the right guidance, advertisers will be able to drive growth through smart and strategic media strategy and operational excellence.
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The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet.