What’s On

2018’s biggest trend? Rejuvenate the advertising model

In today’s marketing meritocracy, the media landscape is overloaded with irrelevant, annoying and repetitive advertising. Spamming, fraud and dubious metrics of measures are all too prevalent. Age-old models of reaching consumers are leading to diminishing returns for marketers and less-than-satisfactory experiences for consumers and this was corroborated by a recent article which concluded based on a study that more than half of the population in Asian countries find ads intrusive.

Essence envisions a world with half as many ads that make three times the impact and wants to be on the precipice of this movement! Agencies have an important role in creating this meritocracy by developing communications that are more meaningful, more respectful and more impactful. Agencies need to partner better with their clients, understand their underlying challenges, harness and unearth their data to devise more engaging ways to move consumers to action.

I see three key areas that’ll dominate the mindshare of the advertisers and marketers –Advertising Technology, Content & Experiences, and Capability & Talent – will be critical in the year ahead.

Advertising Technology
Advertising is yet again at another tipping point. We continue to see quantum shifts in the migration to the Cloud and growing prospects of Big Data, AI, AR/VR, Machine Learning and Automation. Equally, there continues to be a growing concern in privacy, data integrity and uncertainty around brand safety, ad blocking, viewability and fraud, which are the symptomatic challenges facing the entire advertising ecosystem.

I believe that clients will value an agency proposition that taps into ubiquitous technology solutions, ensures the right ownership of data and platforms, appetite for disciplined analytical learning, operates with transparency and devised through the right compensation structure – can be effective under almost any circumstances.

Content and Experiences
A deep understanding of audience driven data allows us to tap into a labyrinth of micro-insights behind consumers’ behaviours, needs and experiences. We’re now able to adapt around our audiences and their context at a level of depth never seen before. But brands can no longer take a cookie cutter approach to a reach/frequency measure towards audiences, lest it become irrelevant, even boring. Therefore it’s imperative we fuse creative with data-led insights to create more meaningful Ad experiences that will be rewarded with attention, permission and action.

Capability and Talent
We are committed to building the very best talent pools across every geography. This means continuing to nurture and develop our Essentials into the very best in integrated strategy, integrated planning, multi-channel level activations, data analysts and ad operations technologists. We are equally committed to partnering with universities and government bodies to grow the next generations of communications specialists. So if you’re looking for a truly enriching experience that will both challenge and reward you, look us up!
2017 was a tough year for client-agency relationships and there is much to be done by the industry as a whole! That said there are many beacons of light and in APAC we have seen many strong relationships achieving great successes together.

The role of agencies in this increasingly complicated field is to help clients navigate and succeed using the very best in advertising, technology and data science solutions. This is a journey of deep learning, constantly measuring successes and optimising opportunities for growth. There is an African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The pace of our consumers’ needs requires us to go together with deft; with candor, openness and trust as our key ingredients to maketh a successful and rewarding partnership.

Kunal Guha

Kunal Guha is the Senior VP & Managing Director at Essence.
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