A lack of standards, and less reliance upon them, could stifle advancements in advertising as the industry undergoes a huge transformation in the next two to three years.
Howard Bass, partner, global media & entertainment advisory leader at Ernst & Young, calls on existing industry standards boards to broaden their scope and validate some of the new technology being introduced today. Brands need those standards in order to trust technology and metrics.
Some of the technology making huge leaps supports television. From Advertising Week, Bass told Media Daily News that for the first time this year, an unnamed client will use a non-Nielsen metered metric. The television network guarantees advertising to a consumer product brand based on the number of people watching an ad on television who later walk into the store to purchase it.
The television network will get paid on the attribution, based on the data of how many people went in and bought the product in a retail store, as opposed to using the traditional gross rating point (GRP) measurement tool to quantify the impact of the campaign, Bass explains.
Companies are not prepared for this change or many others that will occur in the next year based on technology and data.
"Several CEOs last week used the expression that we're in the first inning of change ,and I followed with a tweet that read 'we're in batting practice,'" he said. "We're in the very early stages of the technology that allows addressable advertising or enhanced view of the consumer at scale.
"It takes time for marketers to digest the complexity. There's so much confusion in the advertising industry that without agreed-upon standards it won't work. It will take time. It will take time to build the trust," he added.
Bass has other concerns.
He worries about whether the current leadership in the media industry has the ability to change. "I worry about them really fully embracing the disruption," he said. "There's a lot of people who have been in their jobs a long time. They built businesses, organizations, and made a ton of money. Will they move fast enough or will they create too much inertia?"
Bass said these CEOs need to embrace change and be willing to recognize the limitations of their current business model, revenue streams, and business architecture. They need to try and innovate more aggressively. "You need a duel path," he said. "In parallel, you need to set a path to innovation. Will they ride it out or grab the reins?"