Media Strategy Is More Important Than Buying
On this week's #MediaSnack we consider how strategy is more important these days than media buying in determining success and giving a competitive advantage to marketers.
As we continue our theme of looking at the key areas of change a year after the ANA's Media Transparency Report, this week we focus on 'Media Thinking', which includes a strategic approach to media, the quality and process of good strategy and planning and what actually drives business success for marketers.
For the last decade, the media industry has been on a race to the bottom, obsessed about lowering the price of media and treating it more like a commodity rather than a lever for growth. The entire media industry has been largely engineered around this concept: Giant media buying agencies, giant media selling companies and giant media auditing companies. This has created an asymmetric marketplace with far more many advertisers on the 'buy' side than there are agencies and vendors (who have largely consolidated into a handful of dominant players and in some places may operate more like a cartel than an open market).
This asymmetry is about to change. What's changing all that is technology: Tech which is empowering marketers with access to information and the tools to take a more active role in media decision making, and forcing a more transparent marketplace to evolve (we are still some way of that, give it a few years).
We consider if, once a marketer is empowered with data and analytics, that they become the smartest component of an asymmetric system, they become the ultimate decision maker (its their money after all) and therefore will be able to control more media buying decisions, ultimately setting the price of media based on how they value it. This requires a fully open and democratic marketplace, but that's just a matter of time before the legacy conflict of interest and resistance from the larger players in the supply chain to be eroded.
Next up, we consider a report from EACA (the European Association of Communications Agencies) which has just published a report into the standards of media auditing, calling for anyone in the broad space of advising advertisers (media audits, contract compliance, price benchmarking, pitch management and other advisory services).
You can access the full report here and its well worth a read.
Next, and somewhat related to thoughts about media audit practice, we read a great thought piece by Dan Gilbert, CEO of BrainLabs written in The Drum about how TV will actually become fully able to be bought programmatically. This has been a lingering question and for many an indication of how Programmatic might only be 'one' way that media will be bought. Dan shares our perspective that ALL media will be bought programmatically at some point soon. His piece is an excellent case for HOW the world's biggest and richest media (yes, that's TV) will shift to a fully programmatic model soon. Well worth a read. Tom and David consider how this will completely change the media auditing business, because when all media is traded in an auction style, then there is zero need for pool benchmarking of media pricing (actually it becomes impossible to do) and little need for historic media performance audits. So what happens to the media auditors then? Well, like everyone else they adapt or die.
Finally, we are off to Cannes next week, see you on the beach.