Advertising Age and The Future Of Advertising

The Future of Advertising

Display-LUMAscape_2012-04-05Advertising Age recently ran two very interesting and insightful articles about the current and future state of advertising. It’s that time of the year.

In Part One, I offer my take on what I think are the most salient points in The Industry Speaks: 2016’s Top Priorities that delivered a range of industry leader perspectives on issues and opportunities. I’ve edited the original copy and briefly discuss what it means for you Ms. Advertising Agency CEO.

Part Two comes later this week. I’m feeling too cluttered right now.

One big takeaway… clutter. Advertising clutter, technology clutter, social clutter, content clutter, SEM clutter, even personal blog clutter and on.

Article 1: The Industry Speaks: 2016’s Top Priorities

“What’s the No. 1 issue that the overall marketing and advertising industry needs to deal with in 2016? Advertising Age surveyed executives from throughout the business, and heard a surprising range of answers.

Jeff Charney, CMO, Progressive

Everyone’s so concerned about ad blocking and time shifting, but we see a very different threat. Everybody is flooding the web with their own content, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. We’re not just competing with our top competitors, or even other brands outside of our category, we’re competing with people’s friends, mothers and self-made celebrities on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And it’s just getting started.

PL: Yes!!! So much stuff. So much competition for your eyeball and ear. I am currently advising an L.A. based fashion agency and have been digging into fashion and luxury marketing trends. The fashion and cosmetics marketing world has shifted. For example, Revlon’s mindshare competition is now coming from personal tastemaker sites like The Blonde Salad — not L’Oreal and it’s Vogue ads. That was Revlon’s old school competition. But, cosmetics buyers attention is now whipped snapped by dozens of new eyeball options.

Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP

So number one on the agenda is encouraging companies to take a longer-term, less risk-averse view of the world, predicated on the fundamental truth that marketing is an investment not a cost.

It’s clear from BrandZ analysis that investing in brands works. In the last 10 years, a measurement of the strongest brands from the BrandZ Top 100 as a stock portfolio shows their share price has risen over three times more than the MSCI World Index and almost two thirds more than the S&P500.

PL: Ah, the old argument. Advertising spend is a long term “investment.” OK, yeah, we’ve heard this before. But, Sir Martin backs it up with some facts.

Lori Senecal, global CEO, CP&B

Convention won’t challenge itself. As an industry, we need to help marketers really take control of the technology solutions that unlock opportunities to offer consumers truly inventive, additive, and welcome experiences. But clients, agencies, and consumers will only benefit – and our industry will only thrive – if together with CMOs we can control the necessary technology from start to finish.

PL: A nice wish. Will agencies control the technology food chain? No. Will some savvy agencies build their own technology? Sure. but, the agency world will not be in control.

Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe

Mobile and data.

PL: Ah, yes, of course. Mobile and data are the future of advertising. Um, maybe a very big part of it. But… We still deliver brand-building attention-getting creative ideas, right?

Douwe Bergsma, CMO, Georgia-Pacific

Better connect with our target consumer with breakthrough content at the right time, in the right place and in the right way, including the store.

PL: There is an advertising agency positioning in this. Real-time marketing. but, real-time marketing can blow up in your face. Example? Remember the Microsoft Surface sideline failure in the NFL playoff game?

Mauricio Vergara, global lead and North America CMO, Bacardi

…for me the main evolution that marketers need to do is to think about ourselves as publishers and producers of content that deliver the point of view and value proposition of our brands in a way that engages consumers and adds value to them and their day to day lives.

PL: Key key words… Engage; and Value Proposition. Old school thinking because it works.

Lisa Utzschneider, chief revenue officer, Yahoo

Data is disrupting the digital advertising industry. In 2016, data will be a major agenda item for marketers, as they think differently about how to use the most relevant data and make smarter connections with their customers.

PL: Data has always ruled in the media space. But, beware of meaningless data overload. I remember once sitting in a General Mills marketing director’s office and he told me that he was way too overwhelmed with in-store shopper data to use it correctly. And, that was in the 1980’s.

Scott Howe, CEO, Acxiom

Clutter, clutter, clutter. It’s ad clutter and it’s also vendor clutter. The Lumascape has gotten out of control. This isn’t my observation; this is coming from our clients.

PL: “We can help clients break through ad clutter” is a masterful message for any agency. Do it and prove it and you will grow. Oh, while you are at it… how does your agency break through the advertising agency new business clutter? Here are some thoughts on clutter.

Martine Reardon, CMO, Macy’s

I think it’s a toss-up between breaking through the content overload (i.e. getting and keeping the consumer’s attention) and keeping up with her. Relevancy, authenticity, experiences and great product will be what wins the consumer over and the marketer who does that will have great success in my opinion.

PL: Key-words… Relevancy; Consumer Attention and Great Product. I’ll toss in Authenticity and Meaningful Brand Differentiation. That said, unfortunately for Macy’s their biggest issue is that we don’t want to actually visit a Macy’s store anymore. This is a major macro issue that Macy’s can’t resolve. Blockbuster anyone? (Remember Blockbuster and DVD’s? No? LOL.)

Rich Stoddart, CEO, Leo Burnett North America

… as well as the imperative to create that content with greater speed and at lower cost.

PL: Well, Rich is clearly hitting on two of what is on most clients’ wish lists… Speed and Low Cost. Of course, the combination of Fast, Cheap and Great have always been what clients want and we push back on. Pick two, please.

Joe Abruzzese, president of advertising sales, Discovery Communications

I think advertisers need to look at television as a long-term investment and focus on putting the proper media mix together.

PL: Yes sir, TV advertising does work. Especially in ad block free, time shift free football playoff games. But talk about clutter. Now we’ve got traditional TV (like a zillion options); streaming services like Netflix and and; millions of YouTube videos; on-demand cable programming and all that stuff sent to you by your dearest friends and relatives. Yikes!

Andy Polanksy, CEO, Weber Shandwick

Total spending on marketing services continues to grow…  But what clients are looking for with their investment is integration in their communication strategies. So our biggest challenge — or as I see it, opportunity — is integration.

PL: Well, if clients want integration —  there is hope (still) for that full-service agency positioning. Most clients can’t manage a content agency, SEM agency, mobile agency, social media agency, data provider, direct response agency, PR agency, promotion / experiential agency, video specialist, TV agency, and on and on.

Spencer Rice, CMO, SoulCycle

Communicating a brand story is no longer just about the storytelling, it’s about the channel or platform being used to tell the story, how people are interacting with the content, and whether they are emotionally connected to it, inspired to share it, comment on it or otherwise engage with the content.

PL: Really? Are there actually advertising agencies that are just throwing out client / brand stories into the Cluttersphere? If so, this could point your agency in a nice strategic direction. I’ll call it SMM – Story Media Management.

Yes, you can use “Cluttersphere” and “SMM” for your new business programs.

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