NextM: Shifting The Gap Between Content And Commerce

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What does the future of online content advertising look like? And how can advertisers tap into media partnerships to drive emotional connections and earn the attention of consumers? It all comes down to shifting the gap between content and commerce.

At GroupM’s bespoke NextM event in Sydney which ran across two days, clients from across Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker and Essence came together to get a deeper understanding of the future of content advertising.

Journeying through seven ‘Partner Zones’ created by Verizon Media, News Corp, Seven West Media, LinkedIn, NRL, Cinemgame and Instagram, groups of CMOs and marketing leaders received a unique insight into what to expect from content advertising in 2020 and beyond.

Each GroupM partner offered an interactive experience while also offering new ways of engaging consumers with storytelling through their respective platforms.

GroupM head of digital strategy & investment Venessa Hunt said when earning the attention of consumers, it’s about providing clients with something “different, bigger and newer than they can do on their own or that they’ve seen before.”

Hunt said: “When we tap into our media partnerships we’re using scale, but we’re also using smarts from our own business to work with our partner’s businesses to get the best and biggest ideas.”

“Ideas can come from anywhere and the more people who have great ideas, the better. We rely on our media partners for those.”

While Hunt also said GroupM relies on its own teams as well, specifically when it comes to content, working closely with media partners is key.

“Why wouldn’t you go to the people that write content and produce content every day? The businesses that we’ve worked with, their entire businesses are created around content generation. So if we want to know something, we go to the experts.”

On the future of content advertising, Hunt said it’s all about authenticy and shifting to the type of content people are consuming and interested in, whether that be branded or non-branded.

She said: “These days consumers seek out content. And when we go to seek out content, we want to learn something and we want to be educated. The majority of content we’re looking at now is really around either the betterment of ourselves or the betterment of the people in the world around us.

“I think that has to be the biggest thing we start focusing on, because if consumers want content like that, then brands need to produce content like that.”

At Seven West Media, the future of content advertising will be about integrated online shopping. Voice search will be massive from 2024 and beyond, while hyper-personalization will be key to truly reaching audiences in a unique and authentic way.

The future of content advertising will also focus on entertaining consumers in a manner that makes them forget they’re engaging with an ad, which is exactly what Cinegame does. Cinegame is an innovative form of advertising where consumers interact with the ad by immersing themselves in a real-time game on a movie cinema screen before the film starts.

According to the co-founder of Cinemataztic and GroupM Nordics head of innovation Mikkel Hagedorn  in the future “ads that are interruptive will blocked, physically and mentally.” He said: “The future of ads will be where you have a fun experience engaging with the ad, and then you get to access the content as well.”

He also said it’s all about putting the user first. “Cinegame is a game first, and an ad second. It has to be that way. If you turn it around, you won’t get the same response”, with the response being that 78 per cent of users don’t think of Cinegame as an ad. In Australia, Val Morgan will be working with Cinegame and trialing it in five locations at the beginning of next year.

For News Corp, the power of local and regional news stems from the idea that Aussies trust ads in community newspapers ahead of any other medium. And, the future of content advertising will rely heavily on real-time data, cross-platform insights and targeted ads to really tap into their consumers wants and needs.

At Verizon’s RYOT studio, the future of content advertising is all about working within the four pillars of successful advertising: insight, creativity, innovation, and distribution. According to head of brand and RYOT studio at Verizon Zoe Cocker, Verizon’s success is attributable to following this simple method.

And over at LinkedIn, the social media giant has shifted from its original purpose as a job search site to a more content-driven platform to keep up with the future of advertising. LinkedIn also revealed some data from its latest research, which showed brands drive the most growth, not consumer demand. Their research also showed that when engaging with in-market customers for your product or service, appealing to their rational side is most effective, while when trying to engage with out-of-market consumers, appealing to their emotional side works best.

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