Trends & Transformations

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Trends & Transformations

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The role of media has gone through a massive transformation, balancing all that technology enables a new multitude of creative possibilities and new ways to reach people with precision. It seems media trends are being updated every few weeks. And with that, we worry about overestimating the present and underestimating the future. Here are four things that (happily) keep us up at night:

Humanizing Data

When we talk about data, the conversation easily starts to migrate to the complexity of how, the attribution of, and the task of interpreting. All of that is important, but in a world where data is really just a reflection of human behaviour, we need to ensure we don’t lose sight of Data provides such insight because the content choices people make are a direct reflection of them as people. Since data is behaviour, it means media vendors and media agencies will need to become experts in human behaviour as much as they are experts in media. This is already impacting the type of people the industry attracts and hires and the roles they have. Who will be the first to hire a behavioural economist or data-centric cultural anthropologist? its humanity. The full embracement and actioning of data by media vendors and media agencies will see the true power of it unleashed when we humanize the monolithic “target” or “consumer” (words that should be banned by the media community) and recognize that we need to reach people.

True Media Innovation

“People” are different than a “target” since they are composed of needs, attitudes and behaviours that are valuable in understanding the “whys” behind the “whats” when it comes to the vast media and content landscapes. We’re less interested that a person spends X number of What we mean here is not what is often mistakenly recognized and even rewarded as media innovation, such as a piece of brand agency–created content merely “amplified” by the media agency. Rather, a trend we’re encouraged by is that more media vendors are more open to true media innovation by embracing the full creative.

Influencer Maturation

No question that there’s power in influencer marketing. What is in question is how much power? Ask most any seller of influencers what the direct and real influence their influencers have on a brand and they inevitably respond with numbers reflecting followers, clicks, engagements, shares and the like. But they cannot answer the question about real key performance indicators’ impact on the brand. Influencer marketing is set to mature and will do so, in part, through research to quantify its direct value to brands. This will be led by challenger media agencies seeking validation of investment and impact. Recent research suggests that influencers with smaller numbers of followers have more real influence than those with large followings. So, small may be the new big. And who are the “alpha-influencers” influencing the influencers? Where influence exists and how it truly impacts a brand is a new and exciting road to navigate.

Content Discontent

People are drawn to what interests them, and that is (and will always be) content versus platforms or methods of distribution. But in a world that seems to be in a permanent state of distraction is a realization that brands need to be more frequent, diverse and perpetual with content, versus simply creating a single piece of content to endure.

An example of this is the programmatic creative campaign for Axe in Brazil where 100,000 pieces of content were created with data and customization at its heart. Is it even possible for that content to wear out? An increase in such campaigns will be the norm. It may not be 100,000 pieces, but we see more brands experimenting with programmatic creative and thinking about the modularity of the content elements as a way of being and staying interesting to people.


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