InsightaaS: Many of the opinions covered in ATN are produced by people I've grown to respect and admire, and today's feature fits that profile. I've known Owen Sagness for 20 years now; when he was responsible for MSN at Microsoft Canada, Owen provided me with insights that were really important to the launch of my first online business.
Sagness is now responsible for Microsoft's advertising and online business in the UK - and in today's feature, we're highlighting his LinkedIn post containing five predictions for the 2015 media, marketing and advertising industries. Some of these seem more likely to come to full realization in the latter part of the decade than within the next 12 months: unless the UK is very far ahead of North America, IoT-enabled initiatives based on augmented reality will be noteworthy exceptions not mainstream offerings, and similarly, the promise that AI holds for advertising will probably take more than a handful of months to penetrate corporate marketing strategies. Others, though, might actually be seen as overdue. Sagness's call for the industry to "address programmatic problems" calls attention to the yawning chasm between what online marketing can deliver and what the standard big box/leaderboard formats do (or don't) contribute to enhancing the connections between brands, products and buyers. The notion that marketing can and should emphasize "value exchange" is an important step towards a healthier supplier/consumer relationship. And an overhaul of the agency model would be of benefit to these stakeholders and also (as Sagness points out) to media owners; in an industry that is increasingly defined by technological breakthroughs in data collection and analytics, in the capacity to identify and build persistent dialogue with high-value individual prospects, and to combine education and entertainment to engage key market segments, traditional agencies are more apt to act as inhibitors than facilitators.
As Sagness notes in his conclusion, "these predictions are perhaps somewhat optimistic." They are, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't look at why they're important and how they might come to pass, and - at least in some cases - to join Sagness in establishing these as "goals we ourselves will be working towards throughout the year."
Happy New Year! So, the time has come to look ahead at what 2015 has in store for the media, marketing and advertising industries. Major developments in 2014 included increasing consumer and business acceptance of wearables and the Internet of Things, as well as the growing maturation of the programmatic technologies, both of which have huge implications for brands and advertisers alike. Looking ahead to 2015, many of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry involve finding ways to effectively integrate these kinds of new technologies without detracting from the value of existing approaches. Below is a round-up of my take on the key trends to keep an eye out for in the New Year.
The evolution of the value exchange
Consumers are more aware of the inherent value their data holds, and the onus is still on brands to deliver compelling, useful content to create a value exchange with consumers. As a result, 2015 will see stronger narratives emerge, driven by approaches like cross-device sequential storytelling (segmented campaigns revealed to the user incrementally each time they venture online) and increasing interactivity where the user plays a more active role in influencing content.
Delivering relevant content is becoming less dependent on Personally Identifiable Information (PII), with anonymised data proving just as efficient at providing context. In 2015 the value exchange will be less about who the user is and more about where they are and what they’re doing; providing the quality of content required to secure their attention as brands increasingly depend on contextual data pertaining to audience segments rather than individuals...