Starcom MediaVest Group releases predictions report for ad industry

MUMBAI: Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) has compiled a predictions report on the future of advertising and consumer contact from SMG experts titled - The NEXT Report.

The report has experts looking to uncover specific trends that will guide future media strategies and impact the means through which ad messages are delivered. The future trends and boom in word-of-mouth marketing, broadband, Hispanic media, gaming, mobile marketing, radio and DRTV have also been covered in The NEXT Report.



Some predictions from the report include:

Clients will produce more customised TV creative specifically for the broadband space,

Blogs will become more mainstream and citizen-generated,

The number of networks that target Hispanics on digital cable will grow five-fold over the next 10 years,

Gaming will move into "connected space" and make digitally distributed gaming content more mainstream,

The next hot category will be shopping magazines-for women, men, the home and even babies,

Mobile marketing will push to create a dialogue with self-selected hand raisers, as opposed to recreating online ad serving models.



Broadband will create the New Commercial

Starcom USA's Chris Boothe said that as the industry got its feet wet in the broadband space, the vast majority of spending was dedicated to extending the reach of existing: 30 television creative into re-purposed, already televised news, sports, and entertainment video clips. Now that advertisers are becoming more savvy in broadband and content is more readily available, customisation is going to become more prevalent. Clients will produce more customised video creative specifically for the broadband space.

In addition, sites will offer more customised sponsorships that tailor content to an advertiser's objectives. Measurement will become imperative as a move will be made towards a mixture of outcome-driven (engagement, change in purchase intent, leads, sales, store traffic) and input-driven (cpm, reach, frequency, percent of total impressions), which combine Internet and television metrics to develop a new nomenclature of metrics.



Ad content will make things personal

Reverb's Dan Buczaczer said that the rise of blogs has already left plenty of advertisers scratching their heads about whether to get involved and, if so, how to approach the space. While marketers debate how to approach the blogosphere, consumers have started experimenting with video logs (vlogs), RSS feeds and podcasts as ways to acquire the content they are interested in. Fragmentation suddenly feels like an easy issue to tackle compared to the challenge of marketing in spaces that feel increasingly personal.

Agencies will push programming development

MediaVest Entertainment's Brian Terkelsen, on the other hand, said that original programming will be brokered directly between media agencies on behalf of marketers, and producers increasingly. Selling is no longer exclusive to networks; producers are working more collaboratively with media agencies to produce advertiser supported content; marketers are proactively seeking new ideas to connect with consumers through branded entertainment and original programming platforms; and networks are seeking to protect revenue streams based on traditional broadcast buying models. With these trends comes a challenge to the traditional practices of the selling and buying of broadcast commercial space and the once clear-cut roles of media agencies, producers and networks are becoming blurred.

Hispanic media will thrive via digital opportunities

Tapestry's Monica Gadsby said that by 2010, it's predicted that all US cable access will digitally increase the number of channel choices available to consumers and allow for new networks catering to Hispanic interests to flourish. The digitalisation of cable should produce specific programming geared to Hispanics of different countries of origin, more vertically integrated options with unique Hispanic flavor and an end to the heated debate about Spanish versus English. Today, 20 or so networks target Hispanics on digital cable; and their number is expected to grow fivefold in the next 10 years.

Gaming will become a prime online social space

Play's Tim Harris stresses on the fact that gaming is a socially engaging and competitive activity that naturally generates moments of intense emotion and interaction between players. Given this fact, it's no wonder the gaming industry is quickly making the move into "connected space." Gaming consoles and handhelds will increasingly be connected to broadband networks in order to enable multi-player match-ups in everyone's favorite games. In turn, the onset of digitally distributed game content will become increasingly mainstream, enabling far more than is available today. The move into connected space will open up a world of new marketing opportunities, including:

Huge, season-long tournaments and fantasy play uniting friends as ongoing gaming groups.

On-demand episodic gaming "programming" will be released for games already released.

Imagine underwritten gaming content, bringing together audiences for "virtual events" and the creation of marketer-specific gaming experiences within the most popular games.

Mobile marketing will make consumers raise their hands

SMG Digits' Courtney Acuff opined in the report that there was no crystal ball for understanding the thumb-driven culture. However, what we know today is that understanding what moves the thumbs of mobile consumers is about understanding the personal media experience.

The emerging mobile video space is a realisation of the "era of visual engagement." Consumers now have a screen that can deliver desired content and applications in a most personal fashion, anywhere and anytime. Opportunities for marketers will come in the form of uniquely concepted ideas, not off-the-shelf solutions that many in the field shop to agency after agency. The goal will be to create a dialogue between self-selected hand raisers and marketers-not to recreate online ad serving models, the report predicted.

Video didn't kill the radio star, but ad excess might kill the radio audience

MediaVest USA's Maribeth Papuga said that the traditional radio industry faces its own challenges as listeners discover alternatives ranging from satellite radio to MP3 players. While initial research looks promising, skepticism still prevails among advertisers who want to avoid paying more for less.

DRTV will penetrate consumer consciousness

Halogen's Rob Schmidt said smart marketers engage consumers in meaningful dialogue to make products more relevant and to promote loyalty. "Consumers interested in your product will raise their hand if your message is relevant to them, and DRTV enables us to find these consumers in an efficient manner. We will continue to see traditional marketers turn to DRTV to open this dialogue and bring a higher level of accountability to their media communications. Future DRTV campaigns will be more consistent with brand positions, as consumers don't differentiate between a DRTV campaign and a branding campaign; both exposures occupy the same space in the consumer's mind."

Smaller clients will access bigger resources

StarLink Scott Neslund said that media consolidation is tapering off, and the advertising holding company consolidation seems to have run its course. "In the end, there's still tremendous need for good ideas coming from very small companies with people with a passion for business. Growth in the US will proliferate among small to midsize businesses, and opportunities for business partnerships will arise when big agencies offer their resources and clout to smaller clients currently lacking those resources. Think about it: a nation where roughly half of all media spending is not currently resting with the big ten media agencies, and most midsize brands have media plans executed by their smaller creative shops. Then imagine the creativity that would flourish when those clients-or those entire creative agencies-are offered access to big agency optimisation and accountability. Big ideas."

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