Agencies Need To Optimize Hyper-Personalized Media Future For Clients

  • by March 21, 2007
HOLLYWOOD, CA--Agencies are scrambling to address client challenges in an increasingly hyper-personalized media landscape, says Bant Breen, president, Interpublic Futures Marketing Group. "In the agency world, we have to tie digital and traditional media together. Consumers are connected some of the time, but not all of the time, and with some channels and not others."

Speaking at OMMA Hollywood on Tuesday, Breen said: "We're still at a very nascent stage. We live in a hybrid media landscape." He noted that while the Toyota Prius may seem like a cutting-edge car today, in 10 years, we'll employ more energy-saving technologies.

Hyper-personalization is "more of a buzzword than a reality," he added, even though versioning technologies, like those from Visible World and the SpotRunner model for media buying and planning, exist. "The models haven't scaled yet; we must build the ecosystem for this."

Agencies, technology providers and media owners need to help marketers navigate their way through the world of emerging media. Agencies, in particular, need to take a more active role in structuring the new media landscape, Breen said. Holding companies, like IPG and others, have established emerging media labs, futures groups and consultancies to help marketers experiment with new media and new business models. (One example: Publicis' Groupe's Denuo unit.) But they also need to pay attention to what's happening today.

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"We have to help clients optimize for the now," Breen said. Case in point: marketers like Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft have said they're shifting more media dollars to the digital space. Internet ad revenue surpassed the big six TV networks in 2006, while mobile marketing is coming into play.

Breen also suggested that holding companies and agencies develop new and heterogeneous business models and new models for intellectual property. For example, not charging clients fees upfront for creative work, or charging only for data analysis.

With so many new media channels and models, it becomes more challenging to plan media and link all the various channels. Breen said obstacles remain in developing the hyper-personalized media future. One is in the arena of measurement: "It's held us back from scaling emerging media channels. We still struggle to compare online video to TV video. Until we have industry-wide universal measurement, it's hard to compare and contrast and budget equally against those channels."

In addition, in the arena of analytics, we're moving into a world where there is going to be more data. "With auction-based [online media] marketplaces, we need more robust analytics capabilities. Today, we're in the world of hybrid media solutions," Breen said. "We need to create scaled solutions in specific emerging media channels in a way that hasn't happened yet."

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