In a two-part feature, industry heavyweights share their predictions for what’s in store in the media, marketing and advertising worlds in 2014.
Adam Ferrier, Chief strategy officer, CumminsRoss
There are a few things that will definitely happen in 2014.
A) The magic of advertising will be called upon to help solve and comment on more issues that currently lie outside the definition of our industry. Conversely, as advertisers are called upon to do this, they will start to B) take the science nerds more seriously, as they’ll need to articulate how our craft works better than ‘trust me – I’m creative’.
As science becomes more embedded in what we do, C) agencies will struggle to develop internal processes that champion creativity yet embrace the science.
D) Those that do will become the true strategic partners to their clients brands, and those that don’t will help with great executions off other agencies’ strategies and ideas.
Agencies with FMCG clients will E) help one more of the big traditional FMCG players find a new business model that goes around the retailers effectively, F) whilst retail brands have a resurgence as they integrate on and offline experiences embracing the fact people just love to shop (it’s up to the retailers to inspire them as to where and how they shop).
Finally, G) we’ll see a return to self-acceptance with young people daring to be different and, with this acceptance, we’ll start to see the re-emergence of true characters in advertising return.
H) However, 2014 might also unfortunately be the year that people realise prediction columns are full of shit, and no one really knows what’s next and that’s why everything is so much fun.
Also, just because I can use this space however I like, thanks everyone for a cracker 2013.
Rob Atkinson, CEO, Adshel
I can see the definition of our medium changing in the next few years, with the lines blurring between traditional digital, mobile and outdoor.
The synergies are there now, it’s just about who partners with the right people.
2014 will be the year that digital and mobile begins a massive change of the out of home space. Not just a screen or a tag, they will enable advertisers an opportunity to engage their audience uniquely when they are out and about.
But it won’t just be about capturing consumers at the only time when advertising is the entertainment. New technology will enable targeting in the public forum, connectivity to relevant content at selected times of day, relevant content-serving based on audience recognition and the ability to bring the virtual social world in to the real world in real time.
The continued growth of the smartphone means out-of-home will become increasingly important – but only if it gets the potential perfect partnership between the handset and the outdoor ad right.
Technology will also affect the systems behind the out of home industry, with interactivity and tracking providing real data that will drive the opportunity to optimise campaign efficiency.
Coupled with this will be the trial of programmatic buying platforms across multiple media, not just OOH.
Like the consumer, business customers are also time poor so whatever the technology brings, flexibility and convenience will define the tools that survive the change.
From a commercial perspective, 2014 will see in an era of increased competition for commercial contracts as new players attempt to enter a market that is witnessing increased consolidation.
Although the buzz is certainly all around technology, the winners in 2014 definintely won’t forget the customer.
The audience, rather than the asset, is certainly our focus and successful delivery of new and exciting innovation will still be centred around making a convenient or inspiring or personalised experience out of the purchase path.
Damian Keogh, CEO, Val Morgan
Anyone in the media and marketing industry averse to change should hop off now.
Everyone else should fasten their seat belt because the rate of change in media of recent years is set to accelerate even further as we head into 2014.
New technology will continue to drive the fragmentation and personalisation of media consumption. Ironically while reaching people will get easier, gaining their attention and making an impression on them will be more challenging than ever for advertisers. As advertising becomes more omnipresent in their lives, consumers’ ability to avoid, evade and ignore messages will heighten.
Traditional above the line advertising expenditure will come under more pressure as marketers divert investment into CRM data, social media, custom content and experiential marketing.
Audio visual screen content will be the main battlefield for marketers. Consumers will digest more AV on smart phones and tablets than ever before. Shorter snack content on mobile and tablets will grow exponentially, but longer form content will remain the domain of bigger screens.
Cinema attendance and box office will continue to thrive despite a proliferation of places and devices to watch movies.
The cinema combines a social event with an entertainment destination and the blockbuster movies will always look best on the big screen.
2014 will also begin to see the transformation of outdoor advertising from static to digital.
Digital creative gets more attention and provides a deeper message.
The ability to remove expensive production costs, change and program advertising in real time and accurately measure audiences via screen cameras and facial recognition will become increasingly appealing to advertisers. This will force the outdoor companies to invest in digital screens to remain relevant in the future.
Jodie Sangster, CEO, ADMA
2014 will be the year of ‘customer experience’ with organisations focused on delivering to customer expectations and needs.
For marketers, this will require knowledge and application in data, technology, content and creativity.
More companies will use data-driven marketing and advertising with the value of measurable, personalised marketing finally realised. The increasing adoption of social media, smartphones and a multiscreen culture will continue the drive towards data-driven channels and techniques.
Data analytics will become a mandatory skillset within a marketing team with more work done to bridge the communications gap between marketers and data analysts. Companies will invest more in data and analytics, using technology as their enabler. Bringing it together will be the marketing and IT departments lead by CMOs and CTOs with help from new ‘creative technologists.’
Globally, there will be a progressively tightening legal environment as governments strive to regulate the use of customer data.
In Australia, marketers will have to be mindful of how they use and protect customer data, thanks to new privacy laws.
Content marketing will increase in popularity. Organisations intend to invest more in content marketing in 2014 and we’ll see the emergence of ‘chief content officers’ in Australia.
With the layoffs in journalism, these new content roles will suit the skill set of ex-journalists. Marketers will strive to get content out across all platforms, especially mobile, but will worry about its effectiveness.
Creativity will return as the hype settles over big data. ADMA has research demonstrating robust links between creativity and effective marketing with creative campaigns producing longer-term business profits. Ignore it at your peril.
Inese Kingsmill, Director corporate marketing, Telstra
As we approach 2014, there are a number of exciting trends that are encouraging Telstra’s marketing team to experiment, challenge and continually ask what we can do to create a brilliant connected future for everyone.
At Telstra’s core, is connection. Our brand aims to connect more people to what they love and need than any other brand. As we move into a digital world, connection is becoming even more relevant in our everyday lives and in the way we, as marketers, interact with them.
Our brand promise of a richer, full-colour life will come when we are brilliantly and effortlessly connected to the people, information and experiences that matter most to us.
We are also increasingly focusing on collaboration, co-creation and loyalty – inviting people to play an active role in our story, across all devices and channels.
The use of data is undergoing a major evolution as we continue to embrace new technologies which generate insights into those events and triggers in a customer’s lifecycle.
With this, the protection of private information remains critical.
But overall, we are driven by the customer – what they want, need and deserve – so that they are at the centre of everything we do.
This approach helps our marketing efforts stay focused and aligned, delivering a clear message to our customers every day.
Darren Woolley, Managing director, TrinityP3
Is 2014 the year we hit zero? The best way to predict the future is to extrapolate the trends of the past.
So through the big data analysis of the past here are the predictions for 2014.
Zero Media Costs: With agencies offering ever increasing discounts on media, and it reported that some are offering better than 90% discount to a client, then the next step is media for zero dollars. Unless the media agencies are writing cheques the media owners refuse to honour.
Zero Agency Fees: Coles is right, “down, down, prices are down”. But how low can they go? There are media agencies offering to plan and buy at cost. Creative and digital agencies are competing by cutting overheads and profit margins. The trend is downwards.
Zero Choice: This year the merger of Publicis and Omnicom was announced to create the Omni-Pube Group and there are more whispers of mergers in the offering. But this means marketers will have less choice of global network holding company groups to choose from and therefore less completion.
Next year it could all merge into one – the WPPHavasOmniPubeInterDentsu Conglomerate.
Zero Privacy: And finally, big data and the ominous shadow of the big tech companies means that individual privacy is now in critical condition and may pass on next year.
I for one am actually happy about this, because it could mean with more relevant targeting I stop getting ads for Viagra and email proposals from Russian brides. Or perhaps I am just an optimist.
Mark Britt, CEO, Mi9
2014 is shaping up to be another year of enormous change right across the digital media landscape.
For consumers, multi-screening will continue to grow in popularity. Already, 20% of us own five or more connected devices – this will increase exponentially throughout next year.
But with multiple devices comes the need for unique user experiences no matter what the device, or the context.
To meet this demand, we’ll see the continued convergence of TV and digital.
Across Mi9 and Nine Entertainment Co, we believe content is king, and consumers want as much of it as they can get – especially video.
Australians are now in the driver’s seat with the content they consume, no longer being told the story, they now want to interact and be part of it. So we’ll no doubt see more second screen experiences to complement what’s on TV.
For marketers, data will continue to play a huge role in underpinning their campaigns, increasingly giving CMOs a seat at the boardroom table.
Companies that have access to registered IDs will be able to leverage online and offline data to help advertisers tell their story to specific audiences – no matter what device.
This is truly exciting – Happy New Year!