Marketing Landscape – Change, Consistency and Influencers!

The only thing that is certain alongside death and taxes is the media world will continue to evolve at an extraordinary pace.   It has been never more critical for media owners to focus on the brand and not just the media, whether that is a radio station or a newspaper.  Innovate or die!

For the brave media owners that focus on strengthening their offering, by widening their scope into social, events and beyond, these media companies will outlast their sector by going far beyond it. The only cautionary note is to remain true to the brand and relevant to your target!

Already in December we saw Maximum Media drop the ie for Joe and Her, so that they can compete not just across desktop, social and mobile but on TV (or “AV” as we should be calling it).

In 2017, there will still be similar challenges for advertisers – uncertainty of Brexit and its impact on Ireland, changing media trends and the continued investment in digital putting pressure on traditional media budgets.  Further change is evitable for 2017 and the TV market may once again take up much of the spotlight.  Who could have predicted a few years back that the Rover’s Return would move once more back to TV3 now part of the Virgin Media Group?

Looking to 2017, the power of influencers or bloggers will continue to command increased budgets as many of our target audiences continue to live their lives through Snapchat and Instagram. Influencers such as Pippa or James Patrice are now channels in their own right.  The smarter brands today are aligning their credentials with selected influencers to accelerate their voice and be more relevant.

In 2017, there will be less of an online/offline approach or no line (at long last!) and brands must now concentrate on the message and how it fits with each medium and what is the clear role of that medium. In 2017, more brands should pay heed not to the space but how the consumer interacts with their chosen media channels.

Polite delivery is important and more attention needs to be paid to the trade-off between the advertising and the content, to ensure the brand doesn’t come across screaming for attention like a needy boyfriend! For instance, a 60 seconds AV ad viewed on a digital platform is just too long when the consumer may only be viewing one minute of content.  It’s one thing to get your message across but it’s brand damaging to frustrate the very people you are trying to win over! Research has shown that the ideal ad is 15 seconds for digital channels.

The good news is that with significantly greater investment by agencies in data and analytics, we can now add layers of complexity to advertising campaigns, most notably in the digital arena. Core Media, will invest over 1.5 million Euro in data resources for 2017.  Much of the innovation in 2017 will be under the bonnet, where campaigns will be devised using more effective targeting techniques marrying the consumer need state with the message, enhanced by dynamic messaging. In line with this, programmatic spends will continue to rise, and current predictions indicate that next year it will grow by 31% in the UK marketplace.

But one final thought for 2017. The importance of consistency!

In today’s highly fragmented marketplace there is an absolute necessity for brands to present a consistent voice, as too much change can leave consumers confused and worse still, won’t recall your campaign at all.

Whilst Trump has made us shudder with fear for the future, we could all learn from what was arguably the most effective communications campaign in the last decade! It was bold, disruptive but above all else Trump’s fierce campaign was consistent and always, always on brand!

We can all remember his famous line “Make America Great Again”– but what was Hillary’s again?


Fiona Field

Published in Sunday Business Post, January 2017