Tom Denford and David Indo from ID Comms: media strategy is what drives business advantage

On this week’s #MediaSnack Tom and David consider how strategy has become more important than media buying in determining success and giving marketers an edge.

The increasing role of media thinking also fits into their on-going analysis of key changes a year after the ANA’s Media Transparency Report.

For the last decade, they argue, the media industry has been on a race to the bottom, obsessed about lowering the price of media and treating it more like a commodity rather than a lever for growth. The entire media industry has been largely engineered around this concept: Giant media-buying agencies, giant media-selling companies and giant media-auditing companies.

The result has been an asymmetric marketplace with far more advertisers on the ‘buy’ side than there are agencies and vendors (who have largely consolidated into a handful of dominant players and in some places may operate more like a cartel than an open market).

This is about to change thanks to technology. Tech which is empowering marketers with access to information and the tools to take a more active role in media decision-making, and forcing a more transparent marketplace to evolve.

The end result will be a fully open and democratic marketplace, once the legacy conflict of interest and resistance from the larger players in the supply chain has been eroded.

Next up, Tom and David consider a report from EACA (the European Association of Communications Agencies) into standards of media auditing and anyone in the broad space of advising advertisers (media audits, contract compliance, price benchmarking, pitch management and other advisory services). The report can be seen here and is worth a read.

Finally, Tom and David review a great thought piece by Dan Gilbert, CEO of BrainLabs written in The Drum about how TV will actually become fully programmatic. Dan agrees with Tom and David that that all media will be bought programmatically at some point soon and sets out how the world’s biggest and richest media can make the shift.

Such changes will have a dramatic impact on the auditing business because once all media is traded in an auction style, then there is zero need for pool benchmarking of media pricing and little need for historic media performance audits. Auditors will have to adapt or die.

Tom and David are in Cannes next week. See you on the beach.

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