This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3. With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.
If you want to predict the future the first place you start is with history. Looking back on the past few years here are my predictions for 2014 and why I predict that 2014 will hopefully be seen as YEAR ZERO for media and marketing.
1. Zero agency fees
Agency fees are continually under competitive pressure. Procurement continues to drive lower rates. In the UK, the Government used a reverse on-line auction process to select agencies on the lowest rates. But if not already, will they hit rock bottom this year?
2. Zero choice of agency
Omnicom and Publicis announced their merger in 2013 to create the largest advertising holding company in the world. Even while this merger is progressing, both are continuing with an agenda of further acquisition. With more holding company mergers and acquisitions rumored to follow, will marketers’ choice continue to reduce?
3. Zero privacy
30 years after Orwell’s Big Brother, technology and big data means that privacy died sometime in the past five years. More data on individuals has been generated and collected in the past ten years than in our entire history, but will 2014 be the year Governments catch up with the legislation to manage privacy or will the consumer fight back? (See big data below)
4. Zero originality
With so many ideas available on-line, you would think this would stimulate more originality. But true originality is more likely to come out of a tech start up than an agency these days. All we see from agencies is copies and reworking of others’ ideas. Or have we just run out of ideas?
5. Zero best practice
Technology is driving change so fast that best practice is out of date by the time you have identified it. In fact what increasingly passes for best practice is reduced to simply being common practice. Innovation in the face of this change comes from next practice thinking.
6. Zero paid media
Is Joseph Jaffe right? Is this the year when paid media is no longer required to build brands. In his book Z.E.R.O. he puts the case for why brands need zero paid media, but instead owned and earned is where the real media value lies?
7. Zero digital specialists
Digital agencies are digital specialists. But in a world where everything is digital, is there a place for simply being digital? Instead there will continue to be increasing numbers of specialists in the categories created by technology.
8. Zero big data
Last year everyone was talking Big Data. With so much data available through social and online networks and platforms we have more data than ever before. But do we know the individuals behind this data any better than before? Hopefully next year is when everyone wakes up to the fact it is not the size of your data but the value of your insights.
9. Zero media costs
With traditional media rates falling and continuing market pressure on both agencies and media owners to drive these rates down further, will we see media being given away for free? The hope is that media owners will realize they can charge for the value delivered and not simply hold on to their current audience delivery model.
10. Zero production values
Consumer generated content has marketers questioning the value of high value productions. If YouTube can have a hundred hours of content added every minute, what price to pay for content? Yet quality content is scarce and quality branded content is even scarcer. So on the basis of supply and demand what price high quality produced content?
The question for the industry decision makers and influencers is where do we all benefit from ZERO and where do we need to build anew from the ZERO base.