The Future Of Media: How Marketers Should Change Their Mindset Going Into 2021

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The media industry has just seen one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory, with marketers around the globe forced to change the way they operate virtually overnight.

As a result, a change of mindset is required for marketers when it comes to navigating two main areas: attribution and competing with rival brands.


With the online advertising landscape growing increasingly fractured, it is getting harder and harder for advertisers to measure the performance of campaigns.

And with budgets getting tighter, there is even more pressure on marketers to know whether their efforts have actually worked.

So how can the industry fix its attribution problem?

Speaking with B&T, AKQA APAC director of strategy and innovation Andrew Burger explained there is no quick fix when it comes to attribution.

“Measurement should be multi-faceted and multi-speed. There is never a single solution, within or without the walled gardens, to understand effectiveness,” he said.

He proposed a measurement approach that covers three buckets;

  • Long-term and Longitudinal
  • Post-campaign
  • In campaign

“In our experience, the businesses succeeding in measurement are those who can synthesise and tell stories with data,” he said.

“Given the inherit bias of the walled gardens, comparing different attribution models and various methodologies is a good way to triangulate towards a consensus or benchmark.”

Looking beyond the walled gardens

There’s also the issue of ‘walled gardens’ such as Facebook and Google when it comes attribution. It has been suggested that these companies have the ability to ‘mark their own homework’ when it comes to measuring marketing campaigns on their platforms.

However, AKQA managing director – media Chris Hitchcock explained these companies are improving in this regard.

“Generally, trust is improving in this area – both Google and Facebook are becoming more open and flexible. Both platforms are allowing more access to raw data, providing flexibility and transparency though this trend doesn’t necessarily address the root issue of cross-channel attribution,” he said.

“Google and Facebook are both pushing hard to help advertisers better understand uplift and incrementality – which is a very positive trend. Rather than looking at very linear, short-term impact of advertising, uplift studies are more reflective of effectiveness against a known baseline.

“AKQA has welcomed these new solutions, though they are bias by definition – only factoring the impact of a single channel on campaign performance.”

This improvement is also being aided by data clean rooms (which allow for anonymised and secure data sharing between two parties) and server-to-server integrations, which allow for more sophisticated measurement.

Fighting off the competition 

As the saying goes, ‘if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best’.

And while this is a cliche that is usually associated with sports, Afterpay AUNZ partner marketing director Nikita Mehta believes this sporting mindset is one that should be applied to marketing.

She described the recent November sales period as the ‘Olympics of retail’.

“It’s a highly competitive world out there and the consumer has never had more choice,” Mehta said.

“In retail, I would say we are no different to elite athletes – competing not only for our personal best but also chasing the long term wins and love from our loyal fans.”

To succeed in this highly-competitive space, she suggests marketers ask themselves three questions.

“Why are we competing? What is the long term vision and ambition – This is where your brand and higher purpose has to hold strong,” she said.

“How are we building muscle power and strength today, tomorrow, this year and beyond? This is where foundations such as appropriate Martech, performance marketing, lifecycle strategy need to be established.

“What is the performance roadmap that will get you to your long term goal? These are your metrics that matter. Be clear on what you’re doing, and what success in the ‘now’ vs tomorrow looks like.”

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