Technology in the Agencies of Tomorrow
It’s old news that technology is rapidly changing the advertising industry, and how it’s changing things will once again be a popular topic at this year’s Ad Week. Theories of exactly how AI, RTB, Big Data and other technology related trends will impact advertising vary widely, but two trends seem inevitable: 1) New technologies will make Madison Avenue’s expertise more valuable than ever and 2) Agencies will have to work more efficiently in an age of leaner shops doing smarter work.
Heading into another Ad Week as a partner to some of the most innovative advertising and media agencies, we have heard a consistent message from Madison Avenue’s thought leaders : “[Insert New Technology] is changing our industry, and we will adapt. But don’t lose sight: it’s still the story that matters.” This is absolutely correct. New technologies and data are leading brands to demand a higher ROI on their advertising spend than ever, because advertisers are able to reach buyers that they know more about with a more personal message on the right platform at the right time. However, the amount of data and the complexity of new advertising technologies can be daunting to brands, making ad (wo)men’s expertise more valuable than ever.
And with such a personal reach to buyers, it’s very important that the story brands are telling their consumers is the right one. Advertisers creativity and expertise means that the smart brands will rely on them even more in this increasingly complex world.
Evolving Advertising Landscape
But these new technologies are also changing the agencies themselves. AI and RTB will become more sophisticated, and will do more of the work that humans now do. Big data will take more of the guess work out of creating the best story for target buyers and putting them on the right platform. And considering the pace of change that we’ve already seen, who even knows what technology is coming next. Add to this that brands are already pushing lower margins and shorter deadlines, and it’s clear that agencies will have to operate in a leaner form. *
With technology replacing many human tasks in the advertising and media buying process, it will be more important than ever that Madison Avenue’s high minded luminaries are spending all of their time on high minded work. This is a wonderful development for advertisers. With mundane tasks automated, they will be free to spend all of their time thinking creatively and consulting their clients on how to tell the best stories.
So what will separate the winners and losers in this leaner and faster-paced environment? The short answer is obviously an embrace of all technology. But with an emphasis on efficiency, the winners will also invest in technology that maximizes the incredible human capital that they already have.The most successful agencies will adopt technology to help their ad men and women focus exclusively on creating great work for their clients.
We’re already seeing our clients at innovative agencies do just this. They’ve realized that freeing up talent to focus on the creative part of their job (the reason most of them got into the business in the first place) and leveraging the incredible work that they’ve already created is not just a way to give their employees a little more free time. It’s imperative to them thriving and competing in this new environment.
*See ”Advertising Agencies, Leaner and Meaner.” The Economist. September 13th, 2014