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2014 - PHD on The Future of the Media Agency

2014 - PHD on The Future of the Media Agency

'Media agencies enter automated era: a new report predicts software will replace planners and buyers.'

Fast forward 5 years.

It's 2014. You're walking into a global media agency that you last visited five years ago. The first thing you notice is that it does not appear to be organized too differently from how you remember it, apart from the fact that much of the buying process now looks like it is automated. There are client teams scattered around the agency, composed of a range of different specialists: a couple of TV buyers, a radio buyer, an online buyer and duo of planners. So far, so similar. However, on closer inspection you realize that there are some key differences. For a start, the TV buyers no longer call themselves TV buyers but instead are AV (audiovisual) buyers and their remit covers TV and online. They also seem to be talking about targeting and consumer behavior data much more than they did in the past.

You overhear a client-planning meeting and you realize that most planners aren't even called planners anymore. They're MIMs -- marketing investment managers. It looks like their role is now to advise the client on all aspects of his marketing strategy, from whether the brand should change its packaging to whether he should launch a new variant or product. Their role has clearly evolved significantly over the last five years. They seem to be much more multi-skilled and referring to a host of different research experts in the brainstorming meetings from consumer psychologists to neuroexperts to social anthropologists to new product development managers.

Some client teams appear to be populated by product placement specialists, who are on the lookout for opportunities in events and linear broadcast content, as well as ad-funded games and ad-funded widgets. There are a couple of software developers too, who are creating ad-funded applications and experiences on social networking sites. Other teams also have creatives from a sister creative agency, who now work beside the planners and buyers. All these specialists work in the agency's content creation department. It's much, much bigger than it was in 2009 and has become a mini quasi-creative agency in itself.

Other client teams have mobile planners and buyers and there's a new breed of digital marketer. They are calling themselves DRM's, or digital relationship managers, and are in the business of building and maintaining huge databases of consumers. Apparently they're a great source of ideas for planners, and clients even ask to audit these databases as part of the pitch process.

Long gone are the days when all the media agency did was plan and buy a campaign.

The media landscape has changed irreversibly.

'Traditional' and 'new' media have blurred into one.

Advertising is morphing into ad-funded entertainment.

How did we get here?

That's the scenario put forward in a new report from media agency PHD in their first book, 2014: The Future of the Media Agency.

To download your free copy of e-book, please click on the image below:



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