CYBERTORIAL: In typical fashion, 2012 will merge into 2013, with everyone pleading poverty, from the debt-ridden consumers, to the tight-fisted, budget-shaving clients that we so depend on for our existence in the communications world and media industry.
Come the end of February, the conversation will hopefully have turned positive and the clients that we love so dearly will be wheeling out the buckets of cash for us to spend across the plethora of media touchpoints that pollute the environment, clutter our newspapers and magazines, fill our in-boxes and disturb our seamless television viewing.
Jokes aside, at the broadest level, the patterns will remain relatively the same for media purchase and consumption this year. That said, there will nevertheless be a concerted effort by certain clients to really stand out from this clutter and to push the boundaries at perfecting the use of a particular media channel or through real ground-breaking innovation.
My predictions for the media industry in 2013 are:
- Digital will lead the way as the ‘must have’ channel in the marketing mix and social media will dominate as a topic around the boardroom table for the forceable future.
- The proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices will see an even greater shift of spend to the web-based channels at the expense of traditional television advertising – not immediately, but most definitely later in the year.
- Interactive channels will consistently allow consumers to engage with their brands in different ways.
- Social media will continue to evolve as the most powerful factor in the building of, or destruction of brands – participating in relevant conversation with consumers and consistently utilising this medium effectively is a must for any consumer-centric organisation.
- Facebook will slip in priority as a medium of choice, with the number of ‘likes’ gained on any brand or campaign specific Facebook site still not providing any empirical measure on the value of the brand, the effectiveness of campaign presented, the affinity with that brand, or the ability to create truly loyal customers through this medium.
- Data, data, data – the measurability conversation will be a deciding factor in all media strategies moving forward.
- Developing an in-depth understanding of ‘big data’ and knowing how this data is used as a decision making tool within organisations will give such media agencies the advantage over others.
- Experiential and activations will continue to grow as a channel.
- In-game advertising will see a greater portion of digital budgets in the medium term
- Content creation (as a medium) and sharing (predominantly digitally) across clearly defined communities of interest will emerge as a priority.
- Continuous experimentation with, and development of apps.
- 2013 will be the year that we see effective roll-out of NFC (near field communications) enabled campaigns in South Africa – irrespective of how many, or how broad, the medium will be tried and tested this year.
- Vending machines will possibly be the biggest new medium for advertisers in South Africa this year – instant gratification dispensing of products to consumers and a new medium for brands to communicate with their consumers.
- Virtual stores – as used so successfully in Asia – will be well trailed this year – the key challenge being that retailers need to ensure that their distribution and delivery value chain can sustain such an offering.
- Brands of association or other strategic partnerships will emerge and share marketing spend – net marketing saving for each brand.
- Moving or mobile billboards – we will see increased utilisation of planes, trains and automobiles, some not so glamorous at all – like the roaming Botox advert in Sandton where a very large syringe occupies the roof of the car.
- Hopefully creative agencies genuinely get to understand that direct image transfer and scaling between media is not the correct approach – creative layout and message relevance must be developed in relation to the medium deployed – media is not a one size fits all industry.
- Out-of-Home will continue to grow as a channel with digital infrastructure – both small and large format panels – being the key investment area for media owners.
- Out-of-Home will continue to grow as a more cost effective impact on search than television is
- We should hopefully see genuinely integrated and cross-platform (across different media types and owners) campaigns being delivered successfully this year as more of the specialist / smaller agencies partner together to work on larger campaigns.
In closing, I believe that the ‘de-cluttering’of many brands so that they become more relevant and accessible to the emerging consumer base will hopefully see a new take on message creation, channel selection and medium relevance.
Craig Page-Lee is managing director of Posterscope in South Africa.
Cybertorial is paid-for content.