Media2020: Five Marketing (Pipe)Dreams

In a recent study, 200 senior marketing and media decision-makers revealed their dreams and aspirations for the year 2020 for our beloved profession.

It is fair to say that many of their 2020 wishes sound more like the stuff of dreams. It’s hard to see how, given current realities, any of the following will
become a reality:

1. Data analytics and insights will be the No. 1 discipline critical to success.
Reality check: Most marketing departments operate today with a consumer insights department usually separate from the rest of the marketing team. They tend to be significantly underfunded and understaffed. Most marketers spend a low-end single-digit percentage on insights.

Plus, some of the data and insights that should be included are not managed by consumer insights departments. For instance, the 1-800 number staff fall under corporate communications, and social media measurement falls in the digital domain.



2. Over half of marketers surveyed (54%) said they expect to bring a number of functions previously outsourced to agencies in-house by 2020.
Reality check: You ain’t equipped for it, brother. You can heap quite a bit of criticism on your agency partners, but most of them have two things you don’t have: people and data/tools. It’s nice to think you’re going to manage your programmatic in-house, or your content creation for your story-telling efforts (50% of respondents said this is their second most important tool in the tool box after data analytics, and 60% said they’d take it away from their creative agency).
The reality is, it’s really hard to employ the people who can do any of this well. It is near impossible if your headquarters are in, say Bentonville, Ark. or Battle Creek, Mich., to name just two metropoles where data analytics wizards and assorted other talented people will not move if the alternative is San Francisco or New York.
Besides, are you prepared to offer them a starter salary of $100,000+?

3. Two-thirds of marketers are going to better link outcome-based KPIs to business results.
Reality check: Other than what I have already listed under points 1 and 2, there is another problem, which is that in today’s marketing environment, we don’t even have decent outcome KPIs for many of our touchpoints. Unless of course we continue to be happy with the current viewing definitions for online video and banners, as well as likes/shares for social media.

4. Almost three-quarters of marketers say they will increase their direct dealings with media owners.
Reality check: This might actually be the least controversial challenge for marketers. The problem, though, is that this path immediately relates to the previous three points. If you don’t have the data, the analysts, the tools, nor the measurement alignment, how are you going to negotiate a relevant deal that delivers on business outcomes?

5. Well over three-quarters of respondents agree that performance-based remuneration will be even more important by 2020.
Reality check: Well, duh — once you’ve solved for the previous four points, this one is easy-peasy. Except that we haven’t got any current plans to address the issues highlighted in points one through four.

Media2020 was conducted in the UK among 200 senior marketing and media decision makers between March and July 2015. It was published by media consultancy MediaSense in association with ISBA, the UK version of the ANA, and IPSOS Connect.

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