Digital transformation's impact on advertising industry - the consequences

#4 Digital Transformation impact on Advertising industry — The Consequences

Digital transformation starts with culture

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

As written above, habits, way of framing issues, communication channels, reactiveness are deeply rooted within each employee way of working, how they interact with each others, with their partners, their clients. Incorporating fresh blood, if not carefully managed, can end up in a bloodbath.

People collective mindset is the engine of transformation. The sine qua non condition of a successful transformation.

People management, human leadership is easier in small structure because they are at the human scale. People who takes decision are in direct, daily, physical contact with the other members of the Team. They can communicate through many multi inter-personal touch points. They can directly witness, assist, coach.

Larger structures tend to reduce that human bond. As a consequence, the communication has to be carefully crafted and empowerment becomes even more important which is very difficult in a risk averse environment.

There’s still a job to be done

With the rise of digital, the media landscape has evolved. It took 22 years for the TV king to be dethroned. No one should expect that evolution will stop now. Whatever the direction.

But what about the “job to be done”? To which extend the needs of the advertisers has changed? Actually, not that much.

Advertisers still have resources like ideas, money, time, people, material. They still have the need to reach out their customers and potential clients with their message throughout their consumer journey. They still can benefit from the help and support from experts, partners.

The “how to do it” has evolved though. So should the media agencies.

#5 Digital Transformation impact on Advertising industry — The Opportunity

Looking ahead

Next to being a new destination for consumers, where one can spend time while another can buy ad space, internet represents the digital transformation challenge for the media agencies. That is computers running software which mimics and transforms the buying job; computers running software collecting campaigns vast amount of data; computers running software on other machines which also collect marketing data; computers … You get the point.

I consider that the “job to be done” by a media agency is to build the media strategy then plan, buy, manage, improve, report, get insights out of the campaigns. It must be done the most effectively and the most efficiently, in order to hit the client’s business goals while delivering the best service experience.

For today and tomorrow, on the one hand, it means understanding the impact this digital world has on the consumers’ habits in everything they do from entertainment to education to their purchase behaviours. On the other hand, embracing and leveraging these new tools. In other words, mastering these computers and their softwares.

Data-driven Media Agency

I believe the future media agency will be a data-driven media agency. Why data-driven? Because computers occupy the central stage in the digital transformation…

For Media Agencies it means that these computers replace part of the job but more importantly creates new ones. They digitalise and collect many, many more interactions. These data points needs brain power to be interpreted and become information, eventually knowledge and then wisdom.

The job to be done remains. To leverage this digital transformation, one has to consider how she is enriching her current service model with this data rich opportunity before others do it.

People, leadership, culture and technology are the key pillars

First, you need the people to be educated for this digital transformation. It requires technical, quantitative and business skills rather than negotiating or communication skills. Train and hire for the future.

Second, you need a strong leadership able to embrace this shift, not only in words but most importantly in actions. A leadership team that can handle the minority rule and understand that the data-driven minority is the new normal. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Third, you need to invest in your own tools based on the latest technologies. It will be hard to develop a strong competitive advantage from these tools but, more importantly, I believe understanding how technology evolves and embracing it, is a key success factor.

Next to your own investment, you need to embrace the latest technologies already available. Rethinking every touch point with your client and how each of these could be improved, removed, transformed by technology. It can be how you send your invoices, you exchange information and files, communicate, follow up on project, etc.

As time passed by, everything keeps evolving, so should we to survive.

As time passed by, everything keeps evolving, so should we to own the future.

A matter of perspective.

Nicolas Debray


Nicolas Debray

Managing Director

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