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Beyond consumer shifts - Positive trends in the way media agencies do business

Every single industry has seen fundamental shifts over the last 18 months and the media industry in South Africa is no different.
The changing trends in media behaviour and consumption have been the key topic over the last year and hundreds of webinars and articles cover the changing media landscape updates.

Take a deep breath and rest assured, this is not what we want to cover in this article!

While the media shifts certainly make for a very vibrant, exciting and data-heavy time to be in media, there are other positive shifts that we hope will also have a lasting effect on the way we go about our daily business.

These are linked to the ways we do business and have not received much airtime. These shifts fill us with a lot of positive energy for our industry; and we are confident that we can build on these to ensure a more robust, inclusive, intelligent, transparent and fun industry.
  • These new times certainly calls for media owners and media agencies to find new ways of working closer together. Without knowing the latest OOH, radio, tv audience trends and opportunities our media strategists cannot deliver the optimal audience to clients. A few media owners have definitely stepped up to the challenge to deliver relevant and timely updates to help agencies do just that. In some cases, this is from the leading media owners that we would expect to “go the extra mile”, but a few newer, smaller media owners have definitely used these testing times to establish themselves as useful partners to agencies.

    We are also finding a true partnership model where media owners are very flexible and open to the needs of clients when it comes to rates, sharing research, being accommodating – there is certainly a sense of “we are all in this together.” Media agencies and Media owner working together is a crucial link in the media eco-system. Unfortunately, this link has taken a knock as workload pressure builds on both sides and we simply don’t find time to talk and connect with each other.

    Let’s hope that with this new “reset” these relationships will be nurtured beyond Covid these to keep finding best solutions for clients.

  • Client perceptions. Let’s be honest – when media and creative agencies present together, media is always at the end, and media is often overshadowed by creative conversations. Although media investment is significantly more than creative production many clients want to look at the creative work in great detail and skim over media.

    But, during Covid we have definitely found that media agencies are the ones seen as the team that “brings the facts” and add significant value when we own up-to-date data around consumer.

    Media agencies need to continue to invest in resource to bring client the most useful data signals. We need to keep demonstrating in a very clear way to clients of the value that we bring.

  • Finally, Covid have given us all a “VIP Pass” to the best minds in the world around media. During Covid we have seen the explosion of “open” webinars on every topic, all the best speakers in the world from Award shows, and global research houses. I do believe that this fuels the curiosity that every media person should have – to keep learning from the best in the business. The AMF also hosted an Education webinar to attract the best talent to our industry and this content is now available for anyone that want to know more about media.

    A Career in Media Webinar - hosted by Advertising Media Forum (AMF) South Africa. Hosted Aug 2021 - YouTube

    Long gone are the days when we have to do a road-show to a handful of schools and universities – in this way we are casting the widest net to catch the best talent.
My hope is that these positive steps will cement the media industry path beyond Covid-times – it is a good time to be in media right now! Never should we waste a crisis.

Contributed by Rita Nel.

Advertising Media Forum
The Advertising Media Forum (AMF) is a collective of media agencies and individuals including media strategists, planners, buyers and consultants through whom 95% of all media expenditure in South Africa is bought.


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