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Media Trends with Media Works

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We interviewed ourselves recently and discussed some major developments in the media industry.  Feel free to leave a comment if you’d like us to answer one of your most pressing media questions.

1. What has changed in paid media over the last 5 years?

Wow. Where to begin? The rate of change in the paid media world has been higher in the past five years than probably the last fifteen combined. We’ve seen the monetization of free social networks, the introduction of innovative new platforms, the consolidation of media publishers and the individual customization of media consumption. You do not need a TV to watch your favorite shows.  You can create your own radio station on Pandora.  Brands reach you in your newsfeed on Facebook

All of these examples have considered or implemented paid media as a strategy to increase profits. Good for them but challenging for our industry.

2. What are most clients looking for when they plan paid media?

Clients are focused on measurement metrics and how the paid media plan delivers against them. They are not only looking for the best way to spend their dollars, but also for unique ways to reach their target that provides an effective ROI. However, you don’t want to be too quick to chase every new opportunity out there. While new may be cool sometimes a publisher or a platform takes time to grow an audience and really become a scalable and effective paid media opportunity

While there are so many opportunities available out there and there is always media to test it is our responsibility to make sure that we are aware of these possibilities and evaluate them against the client’s needs and goals.

3. What are the most frequently requested “trends” occurring in digital? Broadcast? Outdoor?

Digital media continues to allow us to target more effectively, so we are seeing constant changes in digital trends based on their targeting capabilities and the availability of Big Data. These can range from geo-targeting to finding a specific audience that’s in the market for a particular purchase. In Broadcast, online radio stations like Pandora and Spotify are becoming more mainstream.  Digital Video is intersecting with TV and TV’s need to follow the consumer’s desire to control when and where they watch content, whether it is On Demand, real-time streaming or streaming on your time through a subscription service like Hulu or Netflix.  For Outdoor, everything is moving toward digital executions, including billboards and bus shelters because it is more efficient for media properties and cost effective for brands buying the space.

4. What is retargeting and how are brands using it?

Retargeting is an effective approach to help turn a visitor into a conversion. There are many types of retargeting available; including social, search and email but one of the most widely used is site retargeting. This method allows us to serve display ads to people who have already visited the site but not yet converted on the campaign metric. This form of retargeting gives you a second (or third or fourth) chance to get more relevant messages in front of a visitor who has already showed interest in your campaign.  And as an additional component to a display campaign retargeting can help increase conversions.

Additional methods of retargeting, like social retargeting, are gaining ground and have recently opened to marketers on all spend levels. With consumers spending over 10% of their “online” day on Facebook and almost a quarter of their “mobile” day there Facebook retargeting could prove to be the most effective method of retargeting.

5. What is Big Data and how does it impact how brands are allocating media dollars?

Great buzz term even though it may be a bit of an understatement. Data is nothing new. Marketers have been using available data for decades to make better decisions on how and where to spend their budgets. What’s changed is the amount of sources this data is coming from. With the number of platforms, publishers and vendors increasing exponentially there are almost an infinite number of data points that each is capturing about visitors. Big Data is really HUGE data or COLOSSAL (feel free to highlight that and bring up your thesaurus). Whatever, it’s BIG.

While the opportunities are great there are some challenges with all that big data. It’s impossible to look at with a human eye and never ask someone for a print out. You may be able to gleam insights from your first-party data (that from your own CRM) or third-party data (from an outside data source like a credit card company or research group) but most of those Big Data points need an algorithm or a service to wade through and that’s one point where it can effect the allocation of media dollars.

Soon marketing departments are going to be spending as much as IT departments on software and services to show a ROI on their media spend.

6. Is print advertising on its way out?

While print hasn’t disappeared, it is trying to find new ways to make itself relevant in this digital age where people get their news/information from digital resources. Newspapers and magazines are putting more resources toward their digital assets to stay current. For example, traditional print publishers are creating video content not just because their online readers are demanding it but because it gives them more inventory to sell.

From an advertising standpoint, we have definitely seen newspaper print spending decline, but still use it to target an older audience. Magazines have not taken as big of hit in terms of circulation or readership because they still reach niche audiences, and we will recommend them and their tablet counterparts in media plans when it makes sense.

7. What do you think the future paid media landscape looks like?

Cluttered, confusing and consolidated but really exciting at the same time. Everyone has seen the Lumascapes and while we appreciate Luma Partners creation of these we sure don’t envy them when it comes to updates. The introduction and then consolidation of new platforms and properties is happening so quickly and at such a scale that it’s a full-time job to keep on top of them all.

Automation and Specialization will also be areas to watch. Publishers, properties and platforms will have to specialize their content and their offerings, if not to get a greater share of the internet audience as a whole to get a more relevant audience. They’ll also have to make money doing it and that is where we’ll see better inventory available through programmatic means to advertisers.

8. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? (Or in this case, the ad creative or the ad placement?)

We don’t like to answer a question with a question but – What is the sound of one hand clapping? The truth is it doesn’t matter which comes first – one without the other is useless as they are both necessary to achieve success in your campaign.

We’ve been part of campaigns that have started with a strong creative idea and we’ve sought out placements where that execution could really be showcased. And we’ve brought ideas from publishers that were a great fit to the campaign’s strategy. In some cases Publishers are creating their own unique units and it’s becoming more acceptable to expect that they can do in-house production and can be pretty creative.