On this week’s #MediaSnack Tom and David mark the one-year anniversary of the landmark Media Transparency Report published by the Association of National Advertisers on 7th June 2016.
This week they focus on changes in the use of media technology and consider what’s happened in the previous 12 months and what are likely to be the changes we will see for the future both in the technology market and the attitude and behaviours of marketers towards data and technology.
Tom and David discuss how data and analytics are no longer a fringe consideration or something that marketers are happy to automatically outsource. We have observed and consulted with many advertisers this year looking to get control of their own data, build analytics capabilities and start to understand the impact that media investments make on business outcomes.
They highlight a clear trend for advertisers wanting these skills to be far more within their own control, blending customer data, marketing campaign data and their own business KPIs to have – sometimes for the first time – a perspective on the value of media not just the price.
This in turn has a beautiful knock-on effect into how media will be bought and sold in the future, because once the buyer (the advertiser) knows the value of media then they can identify the price they are prepared to pay for it. In a world where technology is also transforming the media buying market, making it more transparent and subject to supply and demand (auction) pricing, then buyer demand can properly set the price.
Tom and David predict that technology will slowly revolutionise the media buying market to a point where is becomes fully open, democratic and transparent – a simple auction-based market place where buyers and sellers interact to set a price defined only by supply and demand, rather than a vendor’s rate-card or agency mark-up. In that world, buying at scale ceases to give competitive advantage, whilst buying smarter (by using data and analytics) is where competitive advantage in media will lie.
The ANA report triggered greater interest among senior marketers for media dollars to be held to account and that has required better standards and processes for measurement. The most vocal advocate for improved measurement has been Marc Pritchard at P&G who has suggested that the company will not be placing media dollars into companies that cannot be measured according to third-party verification and consistent standards.
This has led many vendors and technologies to seek accreditation from companies like the Media Rating Council (MRC).
There is also more consistent use of viewability standards and platforms like Google and Facebook opening up to third-party audit rather than “marking their own homework.”
The greater demand for transparency and disclosure has led to changes across the media supply chain, with many of the large agency groups also making moves to provide more transparent operating models, notably Havas’ recent launch of a fully disclosed media buying model, which has met with mixed support from the industry but is a sign that agencies are listening to the new demands for accountability and transparency from advertisers.
Finally, Tom and David share their desire to use technology to improve ways of working generally. We strive towards a zero-email operating model as a business, believing that technology can be utilised much smarter to aid the way we work, both within our own companies and also making the job of being a marketer (often drowning under the heavy weight of an email inbox) a much more pleasant, rewarding and productive experience.
Technology is the driver of transformation across the media industry. The ANA Report helped us all understand why that change was needed and how we should be looking to work in more aligned and transparent ways in future.