Managing Media Convergence
At the start of the year, we’d like to highlight one event from 2013 that speaks well to one of the big issues we’re focusing on: enabling agencies to think through—and succeed at—the cross-channel future.
In November, Mediaocean’s UK group partnered with research agency Econsultancy to launch its Managing Media Convergence report. We also hosted an exclusive event—attended by over 150 media agencies, brands and consultancies—to present key findings from the report and to host a panel to discuss the possible impact of those findings for those present.
Hosted by Mediaocean’s SVP Product, Manu Warikoo, the panel discussed how convergence was affecting brands’ and media owners approach to communications, tackling channel management; people and processes; data and technology.
Digital strategy and revenue controller at Sky Media, Hitesh Bhatt, claimed that linear TV is very strong at about 70% of his market, but he also said that video on demand (VOD) and time-shifting were making an impact. Online and mobile also make a strong contribution to targeting segments, and he cited the use of Sky’s football package aimed at the connected football fan: “As a media owner, we need to understand how our customers consume our products to help brands deliver their objectives off the back of it.”
Data is rapidly becoming the fundamental enabler of any useful customer interaction in a convergent world. James Whatley, Head of Social at Ogilvy, stated quite succinctly: “We used to talk about data monkeys in the corner. Now it’s the data experts leading the process.”
The sheer volumes of data and the speed of change were major challenges that the group addressed. One approach the panellists discussed was breaking big data sets into smaller problems. “One of the points from the study covered testing and learning, and the ultimate result was focusing on ROI,” said Sky Media’s Bhatt. “Perhaps the answer is to view smaller pieces of activity and look at that result on sales.”
A question from the floor during the presentation asked what the role of creative was in leading the customer conversation in a data-heavy universe. Ogilvy’s Whatley responded: “Great storytelling comes from creative, great creative comes from good planning and briefing. These come from amazing insights which themselves come from great data. Data lets us tell better stories across many channels.”
Ogilvy’s Whatley warns that too many companies still view social as a bolt-on. “Larger brands and agencies are realising there are two problems,” Whatley said. “The idea [being executed often] isn’t inherently social; and secondly, the money goes out of the door to the PR agency to manage it. There’s a good reason why social is being brought back into the creative.”
Hotels.com’s chief marketing officer, Nigel Pocklington, demonstrated his commitment by allocating Facebook as his third-biggest ad spend behind TV and Google. While Facebook was initially expected to be a brand building tool, it’s gone in an new direction. Instead, Pocklington says, Facebook is “by far the most effective mobile channel we’ve got [not only] for encouraging downloads, but also for engaging with the 24 million downloads we’ve already had.” That said, he adds, “As a direct response channel, it doesn’t have scale yet.”
Channels are transforming and data is becoming more critical with every passing moment. How will this evolve over 2014? It’s a story we’ll be watching closely. Meanwhile, we’ve included some great footage of the event.