We live in exciting times. Almost daily we hear of new wonder technologies, new algorithms, new ways of working and communicating, with much of it driven by the "ever so smart" phone that lets us do anything anywhere at any time.
Marketing communications continue to move to all things digital. Direct marketing, powered by Google and other search engines, is now mostly online.
In the UK, the internet accounts for 80% of direct response advertising. There is much more to go for. Even today only 16% of retail spend is online.
Brand advertising has moved more slowly, but now broadcast TV, still the dominant branding medium, is beginning to see real competition from digital platforms.
While the shift of spend out of TV advertising has been slow to date, spend on video-led advertising looks set to accelerate.
We all watch much less broadcast TV than we did five years ago. Viewing is down by a third among 16 to 24 year olds.
Netflix and NOW TV don’t carry ads (yet), but they eat into TV’s audience.
All the while, ad-supported online content continues to improve.
Digital marketing still has plenty of challenges.
The industry has made progress on brand safety, viewability and ad fraud, as Unilever’s Keith Weed said at Dmexco, but there’s more to be done. Cross-platform measurement is still in its infancy.
Forward-thinking agencies are providing transparent media buying, validated campaigns and third-party auditing, giving marketers confidence to invest.
So the internet is living up to its potential as an end-to-end marketing platform, enabling brands to build relationships across increasingly complex customer journeys. Whether you’re a retailer, a direct marketer or an FMCG brand.
Customer-driven data-centric marketing is now a given. Marketing requires evolved approaches, agile ways of working and holistic ideas built around client challenges not traditional silos.
As recent financial results have shown, legacy structures and models no longer cut the mustard.
Marketers need partners who can deliver genuine insights, sophisticated planning, light speed creative and connected customer experiences. That can connect all the dots in between. That are built for performance and speed.
At Be Heard Group, we’re practising what we preach. We recently acquired integrated creative agency The Corner, enabling us to combine their brand and creative skills with our analytics, media, content and UX capabilities and deliver fully integrated solutions.
In the new world of AI and machine learning, voice-controlled assistants, blockchain, augmented reality and programmable advertising only one thing is certain. The speed of change.
Peter Scott is executive chairman of Be Heard Group