With online ad revenue expected to reach $50 billion within the next five years and the consumption of digital media growing at an unprecedented rate, Nick Brien, Worldwide president and CEO of Universal McCann, opened ad:tech New York with four key pointers for agencies to adapt to the new media universe and win:
- Be in the business of "big ideas" as well as exceptional experience;
- Be in the business of communication and conversation;
- Innovate and integrate;
- Curiosity takes courage.
Brien noted that many of the new challenges facing brands and agencies in the digital era require a radical shift in focus from an "old media" mentality and legacy relationships to a new way of approaching the consumer through participation marketing, involvement, conversation, collaboration and engagement.
"A fusion of brands, marketing and technology is what it's all about," he said. "Cutting edge marketing insight is now in a different space. Working with your consumer groups is key. They want to play."
According to Brien, digital is transforming all media and the business of marketing communications, including online, TV, mobile and publishing. The media agency of today must find new ways of resonating with the consumer, allowing them to own the brand, create it and engage with it.
Media used to be all about the ad and the message, whereas now, Brien noted, it's about context, timing and involvement; media on the terms of the consumer.
"We're in the business of persuasion and influence," he said. "Media is a social lubricant. Media enhances personality. It's no longer about what the brand does, it's about what they don't do. It's about brand behavior."