Media habits compel a breakdown of silos

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Media habits compel a breakdown of silos

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The Pendulum Swings Back Tumultuous changes in media habits compel a breakdown of silos

Who could have predicted that millennial media habits would force our industry back to a practice that predates the segment? Realistically, it is not just millennials forcing this change in the way we work—it is the entire tumultuous communication landscape. But nowhere along the segmentation spectrum is the need for this change exemplified as it is with millennials. The notion of creative, media and digital working very closely together as one unit seems new these days—interestingly, what is old is new again.

There is serious appetite for this way of working in our business today. We hear it regularly from clients, prospective clients and consultants. Recently, Harley-Davidson awarded IPG its global business based on this premise. Shelley Paxton, VP of global marketing and brand at Harley-Davidson, told Advertising Age: “We were not looking at the key disciplines in silos. Creative, digital and media, in my view, absolutely has to be a single strategy to live together in this day in age.”

All too often, media planning and buying is segregated, either across the city or across the continent, and furthermore by P&L—from creative strategy and digital. More often than not, true conversion analytics are not integrated at all. Out of necessity, due to increases in complexity, we have created a working ecosystem over the past 25 years that is seriously fragmented. It is a challenge to put the right message to the right target at the right moment if all disciplines are not working closely together with a unified strategy. If the team is not working closely together, the communications do not perform; if the communications do not perform, we lose clients.

Nowhere is this need for the disciplines to work closely together embodied as it is when engaging millennials. The most digital of all segments is a challenge to reach; in Canada a quarter of Millennials are ad blocking, nearly one third of them are watching Netflix with no ads. And nearly half ‘always and almost always’ use their phones while watching TV.

Notably, 66% prefer ads that are targeted to their interest, so there is a way in. Media, creative strategy and digital really need to work hand-in-hand to be successful here and it is forcing us to work differently to produce better results. For some of us who have been around long enough, it is making us work more like we used to in the full-service model. So, it seems the pendulum has swung back and we begin witnessing a breakdown of the silos.


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