Top 5 trends agencies should not miss in 2017

Every new year brings with it new opportunities for the businesses. Abhishek Bhattacharjee, Executive Director- Digital at IPG Mediabrands Malaysia lays down top five trends and opportunities that the agencies should gear up for in this year.

#1: Business outcomes will reign supreme
With the budgets not expected to grow by much in 2017, an inordinate amount of importance will be put on measurability of marketing communication. Media which doesn’t drive business outcomes will prove redundant and digital advertising will need to be seen through the lens of clear goal setting, backed with analytical prowess to be able to measure the impact on outcomes.

Ultimately, growth of the digital space will be driven by agility in churning out data driven insights, backed with technology, automation to optimise media allocation almost in real time, and the expertise to analyse results not in terms of CPC or CPM, but goals.

#2: Mobile will be the magic wand
Mobile is already ruling the roost in terms of media consumption amongst all brackets of audiences, and that’s only going to rise. It is interesting to see how 95% of users on the widest reaching media platform, Facebook, are mobile-first users. That presents a phenomenal opportunity for marketers who don’t have to be bound with media choices in scheduling or by affinities, but rather be driven by moments that the audience experiences across their day. Couple that with the data driven targeting and custom storytelling opportunities that the mobile platform offers and we have a win-win situation for advertisers and audiences alike. Advertisers get more impact, reduce inefficiencies and leakages, while the audience has a more enhanced and relevant brand experience.

#3: Storytelling will make a comeback
We are in a phase where most businesses acknowledge the importance of data-fuelled marketing decisions and media choices. But that’s only half the battle won. While data currently works beautifully in identifying the right ‘context’ for engaging an audience in a brand experience or driving a call to action, the real value will grow exponentially when we create ‘content’ for the ‘context’ using the power of data enabled insights.

2017 offers a fantastic opportunity to leverage on the power of storytelling, particularly in the space of custom dynamic video content, whose creativity is guided not by whims and guesses, but facts and data. Audiences turn a blind eye to ads, we are often told. But that very same audience loves a good story, and 2017 will be the year when digital storytelling will surge, riding on the fundamentals of data and get validated by end-to-end analytics.

#4: Jobscopes will be redefined
Anyone and everyone in an agency will agree today that manual functions on a daily basis literally robs them of the time and energy that should rightfully be dedicated towards thinking and innovation. Lack of automation has, for many years, been the silent serial killer of human resource potential and productivity in the agency world. Far too much time is spent on generating reports than spent on analysing and generating learnings or insights.

2017 would be the year which will force ‘automation at work’ as a survival tactic. Automation of processes to take care of mindless manual functions will be the key to driving talent productivity towards thinking more, innovating better and creating boundless value for clients.

#5: Growth will be inclusive, not in silos
In the same way that agencies will need to assume the role of ‘growth partners’ rather than just execution partners for advertisers, media owners will increasingly become ‘growth partners’ for agencies to thrive in the ecosystem where each stakeholder has its own distinct strengths. Media Owner collaborations to drive new product offerings which add value to advertisers will be the cornerstone for success. With agencies in the driving the seat, partnerships across media owners, tech partners and data companies is imperative to be able to offer a meaningful solution to advertisers. Media alone, as we have known it, will not be enough if agencies are vying to be growth partners in these exciting times.

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