Note: This post was previously published, and is in fact Dave Morgan's most-read story of the year.
For people who work in TV advertising, the next five years are bound to be bumpy —but not because everyone is “cutting the cord,” leaving no one to watch TV anymore.
In fact, TV viewing -- even old-fashioned linear viewing -- is likely to remain quite resilient.
No, the next five years will bring us significant shifts across the entire advertising ecosystem — changes that will impact the TV advertising world more significantly than relative shifts in media consumption might suggest.
Here’s what I mean:
TV world becoming very digital. Over-the-top TV viewing will continue to grow, and that growth will force TV media owners to combine their linear and digital products, platforms, process and people. TV and digital people will be fighting for many of the same jobs, and there won’t be room for both anymore.
TV world becoming very automated. People-based processes in TV are becoming increasingly automated. Merging with digital and OTT will only make this happen faster. More software equals fewer people.
TV world becoming very marketer-centric. Most of TV’s sales, account management and service assets are arrayed against agency sales channels. Those will be automated, and the growth in channel development will be direct to marketer, not direct to agency. Incumbent TV folks will lose in that shift.
TV world becoming very data-driven. Data, not sales research, will drive the value of TV advertising as it becomes more digital and more marketer-driven. True data-driven products and sales don’t mesh well with historical TV research and measurement approaches.
Results will trump relationships. In a digital, data-driven world, what sellers did for buyers 10 years ago on a different account will matter a lot less than the results marketers are going to get — and be guaranteed — on a campaign scheduled for next quarter, or the next two weeks. Automation will disintermediate relationships, and results will rule the day.
Ironically, I believe that the role of TV within the media ecosystem will be at least as important as it is today, and certainly won’t be less important. However, TV advertising won’t rule the roost as the most powerful of the media silos as it has for decades. Instead, it will be the most powerful channel within a much more holistic ecosystem. This will make it tough for folks who built their careers supporting and reacting to that market model.
I believe that lean-forward people will win in the lean-back medium of TV. Taking orders and going with the flow (which is typically slow) of the TV world worked well for the past 30 years. No more. Those who survive in TV ad biz will be proactive and bring change on themselves before it’s foisted on them.
All jobs will be hit. More diverse creative will be done by fewer people faster. More orders will be booked with fewer calls and fewer assistants and less human negotiation. Many fewer people will spend their time just managing people and managing up.
What about you? Hope to retire before it happens? Too late. Already happening. What do you think?