The importance of proving return on investment to clients is probably the biggest overall focus media agencies will see in 2013, says Lerina Bierman, Media Director at global media agency Carat. Bierman says 2013 will be a year of returning to basics, as budgets continue to bite and clients demand to see real value.
"Clients are looking to media and strategic agencies to help them develop models for measuring ROI," she says, adding that straightforward media performance data will no longer be sufficient.
"And with the move to digital and more experiential channels, the need will become even greater to justify budgets by measuring a return on investment," she says.
|Other trends she identifies for the year ahead are:|
- A move towards authentic, earned media
- New media partnerships and focus on PR
- Continued focus on TV
- Consumer generated content as the platform to watch
"There is a move towards 'authentic' earned media, away from paid for and contrived earned media campaigns," says Bierman.
"Clients want to see real engagement with their brands, and real conversations and interaction on their social media pages, as opposed to the incentivised actions of the past. For example, progressive clients will not measure success by number of 'likes' on Facebook, but rather by engagement levels and real conversations around their brands.
"This also speaks to the rising importance of PR and providing bloggers and consumers with the right content and tools to authentically speak about brands," she says.
Bierman says that 2013 will also see new and exciting partnerships formed where previously competencies tended to remain in silos. "We expect media owner partnerships to help bridge the gap between 'quality' media campaigns and efficiency targets," she says.
Additionally, there is "no end in sight for TV", Bierman says, as "both free to air and DSTV audiences continue to grow and advertisers continue to spend on TV".
"The trend is in how consumers are watching TV - multi screen viewing is a rising trend and will continue well past 2013. With the Walker, i-Pad and other tablets, as well as, of course the mobile phone, consumers are catching up on what they missed on their own time as well as finding TV entertainment on other digital platforms."
Finally, consumer generated content represents the new frontier.
"This kind of content is really a brand new platform, and this needs to be considered when marketing to the fickle youth market. Clients will need to create experiences for their consumers, and will be seeing content generated from those platforms."