We work in an environment that is fluid. A time of constant innovation and changes, and this has left brands, marketers, and advertisers feeling that they have their backs to the wall. With this feeling in mind, we have decided to ask our team what they felt were the top 4 biggest challenges the media and advertising industry is facing today.
1) Weak creative
One of the biggest challenges we are facing as an industry is the lack of creative solutions being made. This ‘starvation’ of creativity, is clear to see, when one looks at the lack innovation and creativity being used by almost every brand in the country (yes there are exceptions, but the majority of artwork is safe, vanilla, boring – pick any uninspiring adjective and insert it here). From the brand agencies side, we often focus on the data, but strip the humanity from the data, and therefore create very one-dimensional advertising. We are not always focused on the human truths side of people, their hopes and dreams, their fears. We need to bring back an element of curiosity and creativity, and above all else making sure we are consumer-centric in all we do. The time is now for us to shift the focus and go beyond customer acquisition, and beyond engagement, into real conversions.
2) Fighting for top of mind awareness
One of the biggest challenges in media and advertising right now is getting their share of customers mind-space. How do we get their attention and earn a space top of mind? Getting someone to actually notice your brand or advert is becoming increasingly difficult, keeping their attention, and getting them to act on your value proposition… Houston, we have a problem. Customers are faced with a plethora of information, much of it irrelevant, and that in itself is half the challenge. Recently we did a quick survey and asked the people in the survey, if they liked seeing advertising. The vast majority came back with the answer we expected… “No”. We went back and asked the question differently “If you are replacing the tyres on your car, do you like seeing adverts for car tyres” – again the answer we expected… “yes”. We then rephrased the question a third time “Do you like advertising as long as it is relevant to your need state?” – again the answer we expected… “yes”.
3) The human touch
As marketers we have to establish and develop, meaningful connections with our consumers. They are screaming for depth, for more than just an appearance of understanding, for the connection, the spark. The lack of connections in our everyday lives, means that we need to be creating layers, links, stories and meaning behind every piece of content we create. Yes the marketing campaigns need to heavily data driven but again not void of the human touch. Create an experience where customers not only experience your brand, connect with customers in a meaningful way. Your goal needs to be, people, real people, in their realist self, talking about your brand and the space it has in their lives.
4) Strategic Thinking
What we are not seeing enough of is proper strategic thinking. Not just reactive creative and implementation, to the pre-agreed marketing elements, simply for the sake of doing them. Advertising and communication with purpose. Strategic input, on every platform, starting with platform selection. Then, ask yourself the “why”? Self-check, look back, and again ask yourself why? A sound strategy, together with good, creative, and successful, relevant implementation all of which is underpinned to create connections, will give your brand the best chance of optimizing return on any investment.
Crafted by Chris Midgley