2012 Watching change and the future

A couple of thoughts for 2012 and beyond.

There will be many predictions for 2012, these are less predictions as thoughts on what I see around me right now and discussions being had. That is why I have referred to this as ‘watching change’ rather than predicting it. As usual with me its tech heavy but not exclusively an inspired by some recent people I have met lately, more of that for another post.

What do I think we will see changing in 2012?
1. The rise of campaigns targeted against connected TVs, there is so much movement in this space and it is happening so quickly, I believe more advertisers will be looking to agencies to deliver more targeted advertising on the TV through connected TVs and set top boxes. Video advertising shown on streamed content on TVs will also increase significantly in 2012. What I find most interesting in this space is that as with mobile there is a lot of talk but I can see things moving faster than anyone predicts. If you look at the Xbox alone, they have more ‘set top boxes’ than Sky, that makes them the most connected organisation in the UK in regards the TV.

2. From an agency perspective the silos of search, exchange trading and buying on APIs will be broken down as we start to use Data Management, targeting and buying across all three of them to drive campaign results. We will all get smarter about talking data as a planning mechanism rather than a list of sites to represent targeting. Where we can combine audience targeting with context and highly dynamic creatives we will hit the bullseye. This process is already well underway but see this accelerate in the next 12 months.

Where do I see the greatest opportunity for improvement?
A. The greatest room for improvement will be in video as we move from a disparate, highly admin intensive channel that is still managing to scale rapidly to a more platform, third party adserved, data driven opportunity for clients. Video has the opportunity to explode in terms of volumes, the use of buying platforms and third party adserving will make that possible and produce better results for advertisers and a more efficient delivery from an agency perspective. I hope AODv achieves this on behalf of the agencies.

Video revenues could increase significantly with this last impetus, it is a shame that it is being held back by some major broadcasters hell bent on protecting the old models and the ‘it has always been like this approach.’ We know how successful these people have been in the past, so I think they should move to a bigger and better learning model.

Technology:
What tech/device will completely transform the way you do business?
Connected TVs, already have become more and more prevalent in shops, the connected TV will bring the social TV experience to the living room that is currently produced by the highly reported two device usage people employ now ie PC on Twitter whilst watching TV. The connected TV and to set top boxes such as Xbox will allow users to genuinely multi task and enjoy a more social experience. On top of that they will of course also be able to access new content that will pull more influence from the linear TV schedule

What technology has transformed us in the last two years?
Life changing is pretty strong but the ability to work in the cloud would be up there, whether its docs in Dropbox or my iPad, iPhone, Apple TV and Airport Express all linked up wireless at home with no need for synching etc. The principle that the devices no longer need to be mega storage devices is a huge shift and the always on, access anywhere approach to tech is an amazing shift.

What do I think we can’t live without now that will be obsolete next year?
The death of the desktop, its all tablets and laptops and as working conditions become more and more mobile the desktop becomes more and more out of date. Of course that wont be next year but as a trend I believe we are starting to see the PC desk top being eroded, as companies no longer want to invest in more and more office space, instead opting for work from home or hot desking lap tops and tablets become the primary device.

General:
What will change specifically in media?

Our organisations are becoming more and more global by nature, the pitches, the advertisers the media properties we spend with and so the nature of new business requires a more joined up and well round global group to answer these challenges. If you don’t do it well you will lose those big international advertisers, more and more focus will go on how we weave our different agency properties together in a meaniful way that gives clients the maximum amount of insights and services with the minimum amount of disruption.

What do we need most to see greater success in 2012?
We are in a transition period where media owners, Ad Nets and Portals are all trying to plan for the future but manage their old business at the same time. As an industry we need to give companies 12 months to allow that change to happen even if it upsets shareholders and the bean counters. Many organisations will take a hit in terms of ad revenues they receive for direct response campaigns direct from agencies and have not seen it returned through the new approaches such as AOD. It does not mean its wrong, it’s just difficult to manage but they have to so they can reshape for the future.

Mobile needs tracking and ad serving badly! Mobile usage is huge, it brings online to offline and offline to online. The world of the web is social, personal, local and mobile and the smart phone ticks all those boxes and yet we can’t seem to bring the advertisers to spend the revenues. This remains what seems an eternal challenge to master.

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