Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

The Reinvention of the Modern Media Organisation to Supercharge Brand Growth

Advertising Agency
New York, USA
Doug Ray, Chairman DAN Media and President discusses how the most progressive marketers reinvent media to accelerate brand growth

People, their devices and their data are increasingly connected, collapsing the point of engagement and the point of transaction. There is no better example of this than Facebook, whose advertising-driven business model relies upon the data exhaust of human engagement. Now, imagine the future of media when brands have the ability to leverage the power of Verizon’s authenticated user ID with Oath’s vast distribution network, or similarly, AT&T and Time Warner or perhaps Comcast and Sky. Media can no longer be treated as a commodity.

The most progressive marketers are reinventing themselves around media to accelerate brand growth

While the emerging internal media organisational models are varied, particularly among those clients with direct customer relationships versus those without, two critical sets of capabilities are consistent: highly-skilled people and best-in-class technology.

On the people front, marketers are embedding data collection, management and compliance experts, increasingly those well-versed in first-party data. Data scientists are often part of the equation as are those who are knowledgeable in not only how to use a chosen technology solution, but importantly what data to employ and which audiences to activate.

Critically, these capabilities cannot be separated. Data must flow freely between those using it for retention purposes and those using for acquisition purposes. This will lead to the unification of client disciplines that have historically been separate. CRM, database marketing, e-commerce and media will come together more and more.

The new models also see media experts distributed into brand teams versus being solely consolidated centrally. These individuals will be much more engaged in the development of a brand’s audience and messaging strategy, data-enabled, automated media buying, measurement and optimisation. In some cases, brands will bring some of this work in-house. In other cases, they will collaborate with agencies who will, and in some cases have already begun to, redefine the solutions they provide.

Media agencies are quickly transforming their capabilities to meet clients’ evolving needs.

First, some media agencies will introduce consultancy practices, helping marketers define their data strategies and stand up their in-house solutions. Recent acquisitions have already begun to transform media agencies, enabling them to offer these solutions more and more.

Second, they will develop powerful data assets themselves that, when combined with a marketers’ own first-party data, will enable a level of customer insight that is not achievable today. They will increase their data sciences capabilities providing deeper audience understanding, which influences everything from product development, consumer experience, messaging and media. This may lead to different models, including ones whereby agencies license the underlying data and technology for use by their clients.

Third, some of the biggest media-buying firms will establish preferred, direct access to ad space with top publishers and platforms. Like they’ve done for decades on TV, they will leverage their scaled spend to create unique data relationships that many marketers may not be able to achieve alone. In the best-case scenario, these relationships will create closed-loop identity synchronisation between the publisher’s and agency’s PII data. The value in this is unprecedented: increased brand safety, reduced fraud, and improved effectiveness.

While the right internal media model for marketers is not clear, what is clear is that media will be at the centre of competitive advantage. That that data will enable richer insights for marketers. That agencies will pivot (as many are in the process of doing) to meet the evolving needs of their clients.

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