Headline | December 21, 2015

Media in 2016: the year when integration and collaboration will take on new meaning

Paul-F-ONIn the media industry, we tend to define the success of a year based on 2 core elements. Firstly, the % uplift in ad revenue overall or a particular channel and secondly the emergence of new media channels or techniques to a point where the scale is notable. 2015 was a year where brands creating micro content ( cinema graphs, gifs, stop motion) for social channels gained traction, big campaign ideas transversed TV, social & OOH, programmatic became mobile first and Christmas TV ads broke on social platforms not TV first.

What can we predict will be similarly defining trends for media in 2016 ? Whilst there will be new “channels” to master which create the need for a new breed of specialists, I firmly believe that we will see more integration , more connected thinking and more collaboration. These terms are sadly over-used in an industry that still celebrates its silos retaining industry bodies for each media channel, awards for digital only work and effectiveness awards still leaning to creative and not integrated thinking.We can and must do better.

All marketers are actively focused on becoming more customer-centric next year, not just talking about it. The delivery of connected omni-channel customer experience in 2016 is a key theme so what part will media play in this ?

My 10 predictions for the defining moments of 2016 are:

1) We will see more brands planning experiential activity targeted to deliver unique branded experiences to customers and non-customers. Experience design will be the new planning. Expect to see VR featuring in film/gaming and tech to sit behind all experiential work to drive social sharing and capture data.

2) We will see more convergence between discovery & shopping such as shoppable video and buy buttons in social etc. Pinterest will lead in converting intent to purchase amongst key audiences but Twitter will try to win here too.

3) We will see more brands working with professional content houses and individual talent (music will be the winner) to commission both short and long form content formats to align to different stages in the customer journey. This will include more brands working with social influencers to master content creation for the millennial Snapchat generation and more utility based content production.

4) We will see more content led campaigns designed to build engagement in social channels taken from digital and amplified on the big screen using smart Digital Out of Home technology.

5) We will see more cross-screen TV/Video planning with ads planned, synchronised and targeted to work across the big, medium size and little screen in the living room with ( vertical) video dominating more and more. Snapchat & Facebook will take more TV dollars.

6) We will see more cross-media owner collaboration for big campaign ideas but also more collaboration between madtech providers and agencies around data and cross-channel delivery.

7) We will see publishers act more like they are managing franchises and activating their content and own “influencers” (journalists, writers, guest contributors) in social platforms, video and real-world experiences. More brands will also collaborate to co-produce content with publishers.

8) At least one media agency will be employed by a brand to deliver an integrated 360 degree media & creative idea…we will also simultaneously start to see more Agency Group solutions where progressive media & creative teams pitch & deliver medium & message effectively weaved together.

9) We will see the rise of mobile messaging ( Messenger, WhatsApp, Line etc) as both an advertising and commerce platform.

10) We will see more personalisation and precision marketing enabled through the launch of first party data audience-driven Data Management Platforms. Programmatic targeting and tailored content will be targeted along the customer journey based on key data signals and spend in programmatic will continue to grow as the buying models mature.

I’m sure these are only a few of the developments but they signal a much needed and more joined up and connected approach to advertising. Our industry is slowly breaking down the silos that get in the way of work that delivers for clients and consumers. Some of the old guard remain content to leave the status quo as is, but if 2015 was the year where these folks looked less comfortable, 2016 will be the year when they will finally have to decide to either get on the bus or be left behind.

Have a very merry Xmas and see you back for an exciting 2016.

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