The Year Ahead

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The New Year brought further predictions of gloom rather than boom, with most recent economic data telling a story of continued slow growth in 2013. The Financial Times recently reported that there are two main trends that have emerged in the shopping habits of the nation; the search for value, and the way that we shop, which is migrating to online. These trends are not dissimilar to forecasts for the media landscape in 2013, which it is predicted will also be technology driven and value seeking.

Digital Spending

Source: Four Media

There is no denying that digital has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives in the UK, influencing our routines, shopping habits and ever more prolifically, our media consumption. It is predicted that the number of UK households that own a tablet is likely to double to 10 million in the coming year, and with the advent of 4G mobile broadband, and the increasing integration of Internet-enabled TV, the pace at which our digital media consumption is evolving is impressive.

So what for media in 2013? Current advertising revenue forecasts range between 2.8% and 3.4% growth, and there is universal agreement that 2013 will see two major trends – digital media revenues will continue to outpace other channels (digital is the only media predicted to grow by double figures in 2013), and audiences will migrate to online platforms with the continued integration of mobile and internet.

This increasing transition to digital has seen a shift in how companies do business from a ‘this is how we do it’ mentality to ‘this is what we need to do’, with an emphasis on making things happen in the now. The transition from ‘what’ to ‘how’ can also be seen in the media landscape, with the benefits of a test-and-learn approach being seen across the board, with an increasing focus on digital in the media mix combined with careful understanding and management of risks. It is predicted that this year will be about starting small and learning quickly in order to capitalise on new opportunities in a rapidly evolving media environment.

Further, the point of transaction and engagement are becoming ever closer, with the year ahead forecast to be as much about data capture as engagement. The prevalence of measurable factual information will further aid in the development of targeting opportunities, meaning that communications can become more personalised than ever before.

The focus on measurability and accountability means that having the right capability in terms of analytics and insight will be essential for media agencies to give clients confidence that they will see returns on their media investment from the beginning.

Media agencies that combine a ‘be brave and learn quickly’ mentality with a thorough approach to measurement and analysis will have the opportunity to produce some impressive results in challenging times through innovative campaigns across a wide range of touch points.

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