As marketers strive to catch up with digitally savvy consumers, new advertising services and partnerships will emerge that will drive better brand value.
The advertising industry will also see a shift back to creative thinking as advertisers focus on delivering increasingly innovative content to consumers. Executives who embrace these trends will place their company on the road to long-term success, while those who fail to do so will likely fall behind the competition.
1. The bundling of media buying and measurement services will cause a wave of analytics company M&A. As digital advertising makes up an increasingly larger portion of companies’ overall media strategy and spend, bundled services will emerge that manage the full ad life cycle, from placement and tracking to impact measurement. As a result, media buyers are racing to develop their analytics capabilities, and many will look to acquire proven solutions rather than building capabilities in-house.
The media industry’s next large obstacle is quality digital advertising measurement. As media buyers improve their ability to measure the outcomes of their ad purchases, their services will become more valuable. As a result, improving analytics capabilities will be a primary focus for media buyers in 2016.
2. “Odd couple” brand partnerships will increase as the industry adjusts to new consumer behaviors. Innovative partnerships between brands, celebrities and media companies will increase in the coming year. More brands now understand that capturing a digital audience’s attention requires that they create meaningful experiences in a non-commercial sense. Thus, brands will prioritize delivering experiences over delivering taglines to engage consumers and secure brand loyalty.
This new partnership model is exemplified by outerwear company Moncler’s sponsorship of Italian explorer Michele Pontrandolfo‘s trek to the South Pole, which is part of the promotion plan for its 2015/2016 winter collection. Executives will see several more of these novel partnerships form in the year ahead.
3. 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 creative strategy. While media buying has become increasingly commoditized and channels have grown exponentially, engaging consumers is more difficult than ever before. Agencies and marketers will return to creative strategy, partnerships and integrated cross-channel tactics to cut through the cluttered marketplace and impact consumers.
Marketers are fighting harder than ever to make sure their brands are relevant. The general consensus is that creative connections with the consumer and targeted strategies, not just efficient execution, are now the focus of smart brand marketing teams. Media executives will see marketers collaborating with the most innovative minds in both the agency and promotions world in 2016. Look for new and unexpected partnerships to emerge.