Media and marketing consultant ID COMMS has published a report that includes major themes that will be prominent in this year’s agency pitches.
Interestingly, while media pricing will always be a factor to some degree and was likely the top driver a decade ago, marketers are more focused on the bigger strategic picture now.
The paper compares the different media/marketing environments that existed during the last big recession (2009) and today when many economists are predicting an economic downturn this year.
Differences include a less obsessive advertiser focus on price with more concern today about optimization and the bigger strategic picture and how media meshes with the full marketing funnel.
One reason for the change is that procurement people—who were relatively new to the media and marketing world a decade ago were then concerned about media price cutting and very little else. Per the report, their thinking has evolved over the years, and they’ve become “experts in value,” not just price cutting.
And as the report notes, “being big is no longer the only game in town,” a reference to the major holding companies and their relationships and buying clout. Today the majority of the global media marketplace is being “traded through automated auction-based marketplaces.”
Media transparency problems have improved, thanks to efforts from groups like ANA, as have relationships generally between agencies and clients. That said clients have focused more on their media investments and have taken more control of media stewardship via in-housing.
As to agency pitch themes this year, strategy is key. Specifically, “The ability of agency partners to demonstrate and operationalize consumer-centric, full-funnel, fully-integrated thinking.”
Another standout theme is about defining audiences and what they want: “An illustration of audience insight and segmentation and how agencies’ unique data and tech solutions augment internal advertiser data sets to provide better, more surgical profiling of audiences, a crystal-clear perspective of the consumer journey and how to improve the customer experience.”
Strong marketplace intelligence capabilities will also give agencies a leg up, per the report: “Helping businesses and brands make clever and more informed decisions on where to make those tricky investment bets.”
Brands are also looking for agencies that can help them “overcome any dysfunction in their own internal structures and a clear vision as to how media can be an accelerant in driving growth.”
If advertisers were really concerned about defining media audiences why aren't their CMOs demanding that TV and digital media---at the least---provide ad attentive measurements as the standard so they can determine how many---and what kind of persons---watched their ad messages instead of the hopelessly inflated device usage stats that are now utilized? And why are they so reluctant to back such demands with funding? Instead they are basing decisions on hopelessly inflated and misleading "audience" surveys which were never designed to measure the key "threshold" variable that preceeds ad impact---whether anybody saw their presentations. What good is a great positioning strategy and a well executed commercial if much of it's "audience" isn't even in the room when it plays on the screen or, if present, isn't paying attention?