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Reinvention Required

With the advances in technology, and marketers’ ability to harness them, agencies will have to constantly reinvent their structures to become responsive and agile partners to marketers and consumers

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In the past 20 years, every industry has gone through some form of digital transformation but few industries have been as heavily impacted as advertising. We also live in a world of content overload. Driven by increased interconnectivity, audiences have become media platforms in their own right. It’s now more important than ever to effectively engage these audiences so that they will propel a brand’s values, messages and drive loyalty, recommendation and ultimately, sales.

The Digital Journey
With 25-30 per cent of the total revenues coming just from digital, media agencies are investing aggressively in data and artificial intelligence (AI).  

In India, the share of digital in the advertising ecosystem still stands at 15 per cent. But the growth rate is 35-40 per cent a year, forcing media agencies to invest in areas that would drive and sustain the ongoing digital revolution. As the world of connected devices expands, more data is produced, tracked and analysed. More data fuels the improvement of machine-learning algorithms, allowing enhanced audience tracking across different connected devices. Advertisers will have much more information on which to base decisions.

More Transparency
Since YouTube’s brand safety fiasco and Facebook’s data privacy scandal came into limelight, media transparency concerns have peaked. The lack of understanding among marketers, when it comes to media investments, has exacerbated these. Marketers are attacking these issues from multiple fronts, and there is a real effort to transform.

Many brands have been changing how they think about digital and stepping up standards and governance. As an industry, we are redoubling our efforts to deliver a quality advertising environment, meet advertiser demands and create value for users. Havas Group together with MFG Labs launched the industry’s very first Meta-DSP in 2014 and in 2017 launched Client Trading Solution (CTS), a programmatic solution that gives marketers visibility and control over their campaigns.

Content Is Priority 
Content was and continues to be the hero of the ad land. According to Havas research, there is a 71 per cent correlation between how a brand performs on improving personal wellbeing and the strength of its content, of which 60 per cent of the content provided by brands is poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver.

Great content makes a brand meaningful. While big data opens up another vista to create sharper content and machine learning helps target the right user with the right content at the right time, marketers and agencies are still devising means and tools to use it more effectively.

The Evolving Business Model  
With an increasing number of brands taking their marketing activities inhouse or hiring consultants for projects, there is a conundrum for agencies and their business models. This stems the need for collaboration and breaking down silos.

We are seeing a shift towards a unified consumer-centric model in agencies. The focus is to offer integrated services by merging media and creative. Putting content and data at the core of its activities, Havas Group has been taking steps to reinforce its global ‘Together’ strategy by restructuring and building new spaces across regions to accelerate integration.

As change and disruption continue to be the cornerstones of this industry, business models could soon be a thing of the past. With the advances in technology, and marketers’ ability to harness them, agencies will have to constantly reinvent their structures to become responsive and agile partners to marketers and consumers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Anita Nayyar

The author is CEO - India & South Asia, Havas Media Group

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