Media is more than just space and time.
We are a full-service agency with creative and media sitting side by side, so we have an interconnected view of the advertising ecosystem. As an industry, our connection to consumers, technology and social trends is fuelling change at a pace never experienced before. Our Strategy & Investment Director Alex Ponsford pauses to take a media snapshot.
The rules, formulas and models we have relied on to solve many of the challenges our clients set us are being questioned and challenged by the second, if not by the nanosecond, as technology pulls us into a commercial space that is in ‘real-time’ and always on.
There is no denying that real-time lead technologies and solutions represent a massive media step change and a wealth of opportunities. They provide many answers to challenges such as audience fragmentation, trading efficiencies, optimisation across cross multiple devices and consumer data strategies. However, it seems to us, that media agencies have become fixated, if not a little obsessed, with real-time solutions.
For all its opportunities, real-time is basically the automation of buying space and time. This presents a real challenge for the future, as it is the removal of the human interaction. Becoming over-reliant on automation can only be a bad thing for creativity, innovation and collaboration. All those ideas that spark through conversations and relationships could be lost. If you add this to the challenges already presented by the procurement process and media audits, it significantly reduces the media agency’s ability to provide creative bespoke solutions that really capture the consumer’s imagination and answer the many business challenges clients face. Media is in the precarious position of becoming a pure commodity of space and time with agencies providing a very sterile service.
The APG predicts that “the winners over the next ten years will be those who come not just with wonderful ideas, but with sound financial arguments as to why and how these wonderful ideas will make their clients money”. We couldn’t agree more. We have put creative media at the heart of what we do. To facilitate this thinking we have created a Strategy and Investment team. These thinking, planning and buying specialists are fused together and challenged to develop ideas that fuel media plans with technology, innovation and an added layer of creativity, going beyond just space and time.
This way of working is already delivering performance-leading campaigns for many of our clients such as Mitsubishi Electric, Unipart and Baskin-Robbins. Undoubtedly, technology will continue to play an increasing role in media agencies, and accountability and sound investment will remain key measures of success, but creativity in media will be the differentiation that gives our clients the unique solutions they expect and what consumers will engage with.
Strategy & Investment Director