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In the face of technological and political upheaval, last week brands, agencies and media owners came together for Campaign’s annual conference, Media 360, down in Brighton. Under the theme ‘transform and unite’, key figures tackled some of the big issues facing the media industry and we thought it might be helpful to bring you up to speed on the latest discussions…

Tackling uncertainty
Brexit, Trump, brand safety, media transparency – it’s a challenging time for the media industry. In order to navigate this turbulent period, brands need to think positively. Echoing that sentiment, during a panel discussion Jem Lloyd-Williams at Vizeum said “we should focus on doing good work with good people”. For this to happen, strong leadership and communication will play a vital role in easing anxiety. If everyone understands their role and responsibilities it is more likely things will stay on track.

Boosting consumer trust and engagement
In a lively panel debate, chaired by Gemma Charles, acting UK editor of Campaign, brands were warned to focus on consumer passion points rather than data points to truly engage with consumers. As Matt Adams at Havas Media put it, “digital measurement makes decisions binary when really the world is a mosaic.” While there is great value in data, creativity plays an important role in driving innovative and exciting campaigns that hit the right note with consumers. This is where the power of great storytelling comes into play.

Algorithm fears
In a digital era, there is much talk about getting reach, but what about getting the right reach? In a panel on ‘How are media owners transforming in a digital era’, experts warned that an over-reliance on data and programmatic advertising runs the risk of leading marketers astray.

Thinking back to The Times investigation that revealed brands were unwittingly funding terrorism just highlights that relying heavily on algorithm doesn’t always get you the right engagement or context. As we move forward, transparency will continue to be a big talking point across the media landscape.

Onwards and upwards
If we think things are going to get easier then we’re being naïve. Uncertainty is the new norm. As we march forward it will be those brands that are prepared to adapt and show fighting spirit will be the ones to succeed. It will be interesting to see what the key talking points will be for next year’s Media 360.

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