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Tech To Help Cut Waste

In the long run, agencies that have mastered the art to leverage this, while respecting the consumer, would flourish

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The world of advertising has always been about changes, but when you see it close enough, there are some fundamental changes that we must all be prepared for.

Leading this list is digital will truly become mainstream. There will be no part of our business, just like there will be no part of our client’s business, that will not be affected by digital. An inflection point awaits the industry, and India is leading the change.

Before I retire, we would have achieved the Holy Grail of advertising, which is to eliminate the 50 percent of the ad budget that is famously wasted. We have finally begun to harness the power that digital, technology and data has put in our hands to make this happen. We have the means to play an ad to the person it is meant for, at a time that it will register, in a way that he or she will connect with.

In the media side of the business, we already have the capabilities that will reduce, if not eliminate, wastage in advertising. But the creative part of the business also faces similar issues. Several companies are looking to customise messages to individuals, because even people in the so-called same bucket, can react differently to a message. This is where the likes of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will come to our assistance.

The way forward will also call for a mindset shift for marketers and agencies. We have been speaking in a one-way conversation for so long, that at a time when we know we need to listen, we may not always be doing the best job of it.

We think that today we have no control of what people are saying about our brands, but a decade later, we will know what that really means. The smallest trigger can destroy a brand’s credibility and the triggers will become even more sensitive as we deal with the uncertainties ahead.

I have faith in the future and it is based on our ability to tap on the power of data. Data underpins every change we talk about. In a short period, we have moved from probabilistic and cookie-based data to personally identifiable and deterministic data.

There are various issues that come with this but as we mature as a business and as a community on the whole, we will understand how to make sense of data while aptly addressing the concerns it throws up.

We are making better choices, and we are able to better understand the data usage patterns. In the long run, agencies that have mastered the art to leverage this, while respecting the consumer, would flourish.

Monoliths of the past that are used to working in certain ways and have not seen writing on the wall, will perish in the decade ahead. There are giants today that may not stand a decade later.

The shape and form of the agency of tomorrow will be different. AI and ML are automating much of the work that agencies charge clients for. In the next five years, 50 per cent of the jobs we see today will not exist or not exist in this form. Mechanical work will be substituted by machines. Agencies in general will have fewer people but they would be better suited to handling client’s needs.

Ideas of the future will be based on insights like never before. Insight, in turn will be based on data and those who can handle that well, will have the edge. The ideas of 2030 would be about data and facts, and that is what the client will pay agencies for.

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.

Ashish Bhasin

The author is Chairman & CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia

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