Jim Porçarelli, Chief Strategy Officer, Active International
The media industry is undergoing a significant transformation that will substantially impact 2016. These shifts are directly influencing senior level executive priorities as they create and execute their marketing and overall business strategies. As marketers double up on their efforts to catch up with digitally savvy consumers, new advertising services and partnerships will emerge that will drive better brand and media value.
The industry will also witness a far greater emphasis on creative thinking as advertisers focus on delivering innovative content to consumers. The executives and marketing teams that embrace these changes will be on the path to long-term success, while those who do not adapt quickly will fall behind their competitors.
Here are the top media trends for executives to watch in 2016:
The bundling of media buying and measurement services will cause a wave of analytics company M&A
As digital advertising accounts for an increasingly larger portion of companies’ overall media spend, we will see the emergence of bundled services that manage the full ad life cycle, from placement and tracking to impact and measurement. As media buyers race to expand their analytics capabilities, many will target already developed solutions for acquisition instead of attempting to build the capability in-house.
The next major milestone for the media industry is predictable digital advertising measurement. As media buyers measure the outcomes of their ad purchases more accurately, their services will become more highly valued. Therefore, improved analytics capabilities will be a big trend among media buyers this coming year.
“Odd couple” brand partnerships will increase as the industry adjusts to new consumer behaviors
Executives will likely see novel partnerships between brands, celebrities and media companies flourish in 2016. An increasing number of brands now understand that capturing a digital audience’s attention is accomplished by delivering meaningful experiences in a non-commercial sense. Brands will prioritize creating these experiences over delivering taglines to engage consumers in an effort to secure brand loyalty.
This new partnership model can be seen with outerwear company Moncler. Its sponsorship of Italian explorer Michele Pontrandolfo’s trek to the South Pole is core to its strategy to promote its winter collection. Another example is GoPro Workouts, which allows users to follow professional athletes’ daily workout routines. In 2016 executives will notice more of these creative partnerships that deliver something new and engaging to consumers.
Ad agencies will refocus on creativity as programmatic technology and fee scrutiny squeeze buying margins
The dramatic growth of programmatic technology and scrutiny over agency media buying fees will redirect agencies’ focus back to creativity and strategy. While media buying has become increasingly commoditized and channels have grown exponentially, engaging and retaining audience is more challenging than it’s ever been. In 2016, agencies and marketers will return to creative strategy, partnerships and integrated cross-channel tactics in order to cut through the “noisy” marketplace and impact consumers.
Marketers have based agency value by their ability to buy media efficiently for a number of years, and this ability often determined whether or not an agency won client business. That notion is now changing with the rise of digital media. Marketers are fighting harder today than ever before to make their brand relevant, and the emerging consensus is that creative thinking and sharp strategy are the agency capabilities that deliver the most long-term value. In the year ahead, executives will see marketers refocusing their priorities to work with the most innovative minds in the agency world, which is one of the values that ignited the agency business in the first place.
About the Author
Jim Porçarelli brings 25 years of strategic marketing and advertising experience to Active. He is responsible for leading the company’s global strategic initiatives and chairs the Executive Leadership Team. Prior to joining the company in 2006, he was COO and Chief Client Officer at MediaCom (WPP). Jim won the Cable Advertising Bureau’s Ad Man of the Year for his work with Kraft Foods and was part of the core team that created MediaCom in the US, driving annual billings to $4.5 billion. Before MediaCom, he was Chief Media Officer at DMB&B (now Publicis), where he led a team in the development of global business including Anheuser Busch, Procter and Gamble, and Mars/Masterfoods. Jim also serves on several civic and not-for-profit boards.