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MediaScope's Partners


MediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions

As a complement to MediaScope's annual Predictions article MediaScope's Partners have also been asked to share their views for the year ahead.

Thank you to all participating Partners for their support and involvement...

Click on the names below to go to their 2017 predictions or scroll down the page...

Please note: More women were asked to be involved but sadly declined


Mark Halstead - CEO of iCumulusMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Mark Halstead, iCumulus

Data is the king,  and the princes are: content marketing, social selling and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

None of these are unique or new, and there are challenges with all. 

Data in 2017 will be closer linked to Account Based Marketing (ABM), building look-a-likes and targeting accordingly. Linking a DMP  to CRM is the next phase of cookie re-targeting.  Retention is easier than finding new clients - but linking cookies to customers continues to be a challenge. But get it right - boom!

Our social presence in the work environment will be more important than ever and helps the distribution of quality content to the most relevant audience. Producing good content is difficult and time consuming, but there is no point have the best content unless you can find the right audience to consume it. 

Looking forward to helping clients with all the above.

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Tom Kershaw, Chief Product & Engineering Officer, Rubicon Project 

 Real bMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Tom Kershaw, Rubicon Projectrand advertising will begin to flow to in-app formats

There’s no denying it; 2016 was undoubtedly the year of mobile with an estimated 71% of internet traffic coming from phones and tablets. In 2017, traffic will increasingly shift from the all encompassing concept of “mobile web” specifically to mobile video and mobile in-app. Where people go, brand dollars will follow. 

Continued acceleration of native  formats, especially for video 

Native is taking off, and it’s not difficult to understand why. The concept of positioning ads seamlessly into content ultimately prioritises the consumer experience, creating one of the few truly non disruptive advertising formats in the industry today. This approach is good for brands as well thanks to its ability to scale through social networks like Facebook. Video and native are a prime pairing. As the prevalence of video continues to rise, native opportunities will increase as well. Companies like Snapchat are already driving a growth in short form, animated videos. We’re going to see brands using this trend to their advantage in 2017, creating a more innovative, less intrusive advertising experience for the consumer. 

Ad blocking penetration rates will slow down, especially in North America and Europe

This trend has its roots in native advertising and microtargeting. Everyone in the adtech industry has a responsibility to incorporate people into their thinking. Microtargeting will continue to increase and become more sophisticated allowing brands to market directly to intenders on a granular level. As that happens, we’ll begin to see a reduction in the number of ads served while simultaneously increasing each ad’s effectiveness. It may sound contrived, but it makes sense. We win more, by sending less. 

Ad Dollars will start to flow away from interstitial, mid-roll and, eventually, non-skippable pre-rolls

As an industry, we are moving away from disruptive advertising in favour of formats that are compelling and better for the consumer. This is a positive shift for everyone involved. Interactive formats will continue to prove popular with brands because they offer higher conversions than their more disruptive counterparts.

New measurement standards for brand effectiveness will emerge and accelerate

CPMs and impressions are no longer effective measurement standards in an industry that focuses on people first. As brands shift from advertising models that generalise audiences by demographic in favour of microtargeting, they will increasingly serve ads that are relevant to individuals. When audience engagement becomes personal, the true measure of effectiveness will no longer be based on impressions, but actions. 

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Mitch Waters, Managing Director, AOL Platforms ANZMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Mitch Waters, AOL Platforms

Essential ingredients of 2017 - Connecting human and machine learning

We have been talking about the rise of machine learning for a while but 2017 will be the year when it really begins to impact on both automation and human capital.

  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) - We will be hearing a lot about machine learning as AI powered technology hits its stride. From an industry perspective, machine learning algorithms, especially around cross device modelling, will become more prominent. Every new ad tech vendor into the Australian market in 2017 will have AI on one of their presentation slides. From a consumer perspective not only will we see a lot more tech entrants, AI is rumoured to be a core component of Apple’s 2017 strategy.
  • Traditional media adopts programmatic - Traditional media will turbo charge its programmatic evolution. Both TV and audio are poised to have a big year in programmatic. Broadcasters and agencies are now realising the value this form of trading has and are structuring their 2017 deals around programmatic delivery.
  • BYO algorithms – We will see an increasing demand from agencies and brands for bespoke algorithms. This means the major tech providers will have to quickly find a way to provide this functionality.

As machine learning and increasing automation becomes more entrenched, it will also have an impact on people. Specifically:-

  • Human insight - The human element will become more and more important. With the rise of AI and BYO algorithms doing most of the grunt work, the real value will come from the people who are able to take real world problems and find ways for technology to address them. There will be a premium on insights and learnings.
  • Tech detoxes – With the increased reliance on and consumption of technology, we will see more people opting for technology detoxes. The brain is a vital organ and we are going to need to take care of it as actively as many of us do our body. As augmented reality and virtual reality applications take off we are likely to see the increased impact of technology strain. 

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Samantha Watts - Founding Director at S2M - Connecting Leaders & Innovators

MediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Samantha Watts, S2MHaving been in the digital recruitment business for over 11 years now, it’s safe to say that I have witnessed more than a couple of changes in the industry. There is no doubt that technology is having a massive impact on every single industry sector and in recruitment we are seeing a shift in job seekers attitudes also. 

Today’s candidates are pressed for time and spoilt for choice. They are in fact more demanding than ever. Many of them being digital natives, inherently expect potential employers to be doing the work for them. This is especially the case, in terms of luring prospective candidates to the opportunity – a positive and well-articulated employer brand is therefore key.  They want to be told why they should be applying for a particular role and need to be convinced of the value that the position will add to their future. They seek an excellent candidate experience, where they feel cared for throughout the entire application process. 

As recruiters it is essential that we speak their language. A mobile-first approach with video interviewing methods is definitely emerging as one of the top recruitment trends in the coming year.  

In order to be ahead of the game, employers must deliver the experience candidates expect and recruiters must work hard to bring more to the table, really investing in potential job seekers.  

Here are my top five predications for 2017: 

Employer branding is more influential than ever 

Living in the digital age means that we are accustomed to a consumer mindset.  Employer review sites like Glassdoor are on the rise and an employer’s brand is more visible than ever before. In addition, a positive interview process is key. A company that appears to have a poor employer brand is less likely to receive applications. A strong employer brand is therefore a company’s selling point, one that ultimately also helps retain top talent and helps create brand ambassadors. 

Social media is a must 

Studies show that millennial job seekers tend to resist traditional recruitment practices; so social media really is the key to getting in front of passive candidates like millennials. I see a massive scope for platforms like Instagram and Facebook in becoming a part of the recruitment promotional mix in the coming years. Employers and recruiters a like should really be utilising the visual impact and influence of these platforms to capture these younger job seekers who will become the market leaders of tomorrow. 

Personalised messaging is critical to attracting candidates 

Competition to attract top talent is more fierce than ever today especially with the rise of social media. There are a number of different avenues available to job seekers to find vacancies, which means job ads and InMail messages really need to cut through the noise. Personalised messaging therefore really needs to be high on every recruiter’s agenda. It’s essential that candidates are made aware of “what’s in it for them” because mass messages sent through LinkedIn are likely to come across bland and thoughtless. Successful recruiter messaging will include succinct and motivational dialogue, leaving a meaningful impression on the candidate. 

Digital resumes are the future

As recruiters we witness a lot of duplication between LinkedIn profiles and paper resumes. In the future, paper resumes will pretty much cease to exist. As employers continue to keep up with technological advancements, endeavouring to cultivate mobile first platforms for candidates, in the future prospective employees will likely be expected to apply more and more with updated links to their LinkedIn profiles alone and we will see a rise in digital portfolios. 

Employment trends of the future 

The future of work will see employees moving away from being committed to one or a few companies throughout their career. Instead, they will be striking out independently as consultants, contractors, and engaging in ad-hoc relationships with customers or clients. The growth of specialisation in companies linked with the dramatically enhanced ability to identify and engage with specific skills, regardless of physical location, is allowing more and more people to become self-employed. 

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Paul Garrity - Impulse ScreenMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Paul Garrity, Impulse

Connected Consumer: Connected Advertising

The addition of new advertising channels and media fragmentation have found many brands pursuing multiple, disconnected advertising campaigns, with siloed advertising budgets and utilizing specialist agencies. However, I think 2017 will witness a reverse in this trend as brands and their agencies embrace technologies that co-ordinate campaigns across old and new media and enable advanced consumer targeting across multiple screens at the most opportune times, capitalizing on the strengths of recall and brand positioning on one medium to initiate action on another. New measurement and analytics techniques will allow better attribution of marketing spend to enable a more holistic view of return on advertising investment (ROI).

Media consumption patterns have already shifted with an average of 6.4 devices in an Australian home. Whilst the average time spent watching TV has declined slightly, extra internet time has grown significantly showing media consumption is not a zero sum game. The latest Multi-screen report by OZTAM highlights that 76 % of online Australians multi-screen, with 33% of them now accessing content on two or more devices (Triple Screening) while watching TV. Marketers intent on activating consumer attention and response must recognize this trend, and ensure concurrent presence and consistent messages across screens to maximize ROI.

The Rio 2016 Olympics taught us a few lessons. Lead sponsors like Samsung and Woolworths ran cross-media multi-platform campaigns aligned with Seven’s Olympics coverage, engaging viewers on the big screen whilst sending synchronised messages to the smaller more personal mobile screen. These synced advertising campaigns generated better brand recall, audience action and improved ROI overall than single channel campaigns.

The optimisation of TV advertising investments through synced digital engagement, is a marketing trend that’s sure to rise and 2017 will just be a glimpse into the future of co-ordinated multi-channel advertising landscape.

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Sam Smith, Managing Director ANZ - Tube MogulMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Sam Smith, TubeMogul

At TubeMogul, we believe cross-channel capabilities will be fast-tracked in 2017 with a focus on maximising reach and controlling frequency across the entire advertising buy – all screens, all formats. The emphasis will be on real software to deliver this, illustrated through self-service vs. managed-service offerings. We are likely to also see more scrutiny on independent analytics and attribution - correlation vs. causation, cookie bombing and last click attribution will be put under the microscope.

2017 won’t be the year of Television, but there will be a lot of activity in the space as the market’s appetite for PTV grows, broadcasters continue to explore the opportunity and vendor capabilities accelerate.

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MediaScope's 2017 Predictions



Also see MediaScope's annual 2017 Predictions article with comprehensive forecasts from all channels within the media sector...


Lee Bush - Upside DigitalMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Lee Bush, Upside Digital

2017 - The Year Email Became Sexy... Again

With Email now equipped with the technology to extend your web targeting and automation capabilities, we will now see a resurgence of email not only in brand capabilities but also for the end user receiving contextual emails personalised to them at the time of open.

Let's pretend E-Mail was a Man ...and let's call him 'Eric'. When Eric first came in to market as the "Mailman", he was young and full of ambition, he had a great work ethic and stayed late to ensure every person received their personal mail.

But over the years, Eric became complacent as there was no other mailman with his experience or was willing to take his job. Eric had no interest in what ‘Programmatic Pete’ was doing or what “Content Cathy” was up to, as all Eric had to do was “Batch & Blast” in the morning and spend the rest of the day with his hand in the web department's cookie jar.

It wasn’t until Eric noticed a new good looking young man dressed in his uniform that he knew he was in trouble. His name was Ethan and unlike old Eric, his uniform hugged his rippling muscles highlighting a 6 pack of new features he is going to bring to the world of email marketing:

  •  Dynamic features never seen before using a combination of first party data, web behaviour, and real time data.
  • Automation beyond the manual Auto-responder series that allows email to be an extension of web… on auto-pilot and tailored to what the individual is reading on site.
  • Dynamic Ad serving with both display and Native Ad units, immune to ad blockers, to create a new revenue stream for publishers
  • Device and Geo recognition that tailors email to the individual and device at the time of open
  • Video Content in email and other engagement boosters never previously seen due to tech restrictions across ISP’s
  • New technology allowing Advertisers to book new display and native ad inventory across publishers’ newsletters targeted to individuals

Let’s just say that the Christmas Party is going to be a little awkward this year for Eric and 2017 will see Eric packing his bags with brands moving towards more sophisticated ways in which to communicate to their existing & future clients and publishers utilising the platform as an extension to their content on site.


Pete Harrington - Round8MediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Pete Harrington, Round8

2016 has been a fascinating year for the industry, best summed up as the ‘year of transparency’, as the ANA (alongside Facebook’s ‘inflate-gate’) helped to remind brands of the importance of transparency, and driving this throughout the entire media supply chain.

Marketers have needed to take a much more proactive role in the way they manage their media and associated partners – agencies, technology vendors, media platforms, content producers, and data providers.

2017 - A year of action for brands 

Well, hopefully a year of action; it is time to make some decisions and time for brands to take control of any inertia that may be holding back the acceleration of their marketing efforts.


Brands need to take control of capabilities and what is needed (both internally and externally) to drive this change.

  • Greater upskilling through concerted learning programmes and more dedicated expertise
  • Closer partnerships between brands and technology/media platforms to improve the flow of information and access to innovation


Brands need to take control of technology to ensure a needs-based approach is adopted for technology rather than ‘technology for technology’s sake’.

  • Clearer strategy around technology and the tools and processes necessary to drive change
  • Much more attention on the capabilities necessary to drive value from the technologies


Brands need to take control of data to ensure a much more responsible and value-driven approach is adopted.

  • Much greater focus on leveraging first-party data with third-party providers set to become increasingly sidelined
  • Wider deployment of available measurement techniques/technologies for validating targeting, brand safety, viewability, and fraud

Agencies will be in a strong position 

In theory, agencies will be in a very strong place, provided they support their clients through this transition, rather than stand in their way. This means embracing this appetite for transparency, and working with greater agility so they focus on where they add the most value.

Advice for agencies in 2017 

  • Be much more open in how you think, act, and do
  • Help to fill, rather than exploit client knowledge gaps

Technology companies will accelerate brand outreach 

Finally, we turn our attention to the technology companies, who we expect will accelerate their outreach with brands as they seek to establish deeper, more ‘institutional’ relationships.

If we take dmexco 2016 as the barometer (alongside what we experience every day through the vendor evaluations we manage), this sector, we believe, still has a way to go. There is still too much pontificating about ‘speeds and feeds’ and not enough on use cases, ROI, and how to actually deliver effective deployment.

Advice for ad tech and martech companies in 2017

  • Focus more on ROI than product features
  • Take the time to understand the brands’ organisational structures and supporting agency models

2017 will be a year of action and change; yet it holds much promise for brands, agencies and technology providers.

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Andy Gilroy – National Director – ANZ. Group IMDMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Andy Gilroy, Group IMD

2017 is likely to present us with more, more and more. What do I mean by that?

  • More Data
  • More Media Channels
  • More Automation

The first 2 will continue to provide growing ability for  the media industry to understand consumer behaviors in ways unimaginable before and the ability to communicate to them in more efficient, timely and personalised ways.

However, this will lead to even more demand for automation to help us mere mortal humans to keep pace. Human time as a commodity will continue to come under more pressure and we will gravitate to tech that can give us back time. Companies that claim to provide this much needed automation are going to have to stand up and prove themselves more in real terms and deliver for clients. There is likely to be more collaboration between complementary tech offerings to agencies and clients and probably consolidation in this space too.

Speaking of human time, another trend that I see growing, and hope it does, is the greater focus on remote working.  As the older senior bricks and mortar management are replaced with digital natives, there will be a greater rate of change in the acceptance that not wasting 4 hrs a day stuck in traffic commuting can be used much more productively, not to mention the positive environmental bi-product.

Speed to market and the ability to react in a marketing sense will become even more important focus for creative and media agencies This will raise new challenges on the quality over quantity issue.  Advertisers can talk at a more individual and granular level now, which means the need for more and more content. Keeping this from becoming crappy wallpaper, or noise, will be an interesting area for the industry to get right. 

I think the trend of media and creative coming back together will definitely continue as the growing complexity of the media landscape means that creatives will have to become channel experts or have that expertise in house in order to make the most of the “new” world.

In Australia, I think 2017 will continue to be a year of strong debate around the much discussed current 2 out of 3 ownership and reach media laws. My prediction is that it will come to a vote this year and we will all finally get a resolution. 

Economically, I see a warming in the resources sector which hopefully can breathe some much needed revenue to Australia Pty. However, our love affair with rock bottom interest rates will probably come to a painful end for many as monetary policy tightens.  GDP growth is set about 3% to 2018. In retail, how we shop will continue its trend to online and shopping centres will have to increase their investment to make them lifestyle destinations to attract wallets. This will continue to present challenges to retailers as rents will invariably rise as mall operators recoup their investments.

2017 will certainly be an interesting year with a new president in the U.S.  I will not even try and make a prediction on what that will mean, unpredictable is probably the easiest word to sum it up.  

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Nicole Liebmann, Head of Mobile APAC & South Africa, ExponentialMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Nicole Liebmann, Exponential

2017 will see AR, VR and machine learning across mobile advertising become increasingly mainstream. Advances in the functionality of devices such as the iPhone 8 will help to increase the accessibility of these technologies, allowing brands to fully harness them to enable new formats and forms of communication with consumers. The impact of such technologies will also provide a springboard for the accelerated growth of voice-based communications with consumers, further impacting the way we advertise across mobile. As we move towards the end of this decade and into the next, voice-first interactions with devices will become dominant and will be naturally integrated into advertising strategies. 

Finally, 2017 will call for more accountability across mobile. Current doubt around the impact and effectiveness of mobile often stems from the lack of understanding around true performance which is a result of common tracking restrictions. 2017 will see a shift towards the prioritised use of tracking vendors who specialise in mobile tracking and can provide the truest results and best understanding of the impact of mobile for brands.

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Toby Hemming - MD Bold MediaMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Toby Hemming, Bold Media

2016 has largely been a year of polarisation, both socially politically and within the media world. As the world has taken sides against the haves and have nots, our industry is attempting to draw battlelines between incumbent and disruptive media.

With plenty of shots already being fired from both sides, 2017 will see the divisions become even bigger as traditional media fights to prove its relevance in a much-changed world. Any media organisations not prepared to pivot quickly and diversify will find themselves out in the cold, compounded by the probable relaxing of media laws in the months ahead.

At the same time the AdTech community are going to see their growing pains as the sustainability of such a crowded market becomes self-evident. Many companies not fulfilling early their promises of glory will fall by the wayside, as a new hierarchy of digital marketing vendors takes hold.

Online I am sure Facebook and its associated digital properties will continue their relentless charge towards world domination. But despite the failings of Twitter to live up to its promise and Snapchat’s still modest ambitions, I think Facebook’s ubiquity will be its eventual downfall as users migrate to more intimate platforms.

From I consumer view, I’m hoping that the banks can overcome their own resistance to change and mobile payments at last become commonplace. And more importantly, the much-hyped new dawn of the NBN manages to live up to at least some of its promise of a pathway to a better, connected future

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MediaScope's 2017 Predictions



Also see MediaScope's annual 2017 Predictions article with comprehensive forecasts from all channels within the media sector...


Ben Sharp, Managing Director, APAC, AdRollMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Ben Sharp, AdRoll

2017 is going to be another year the industry focuses on attribution and the importance of data across a range of subjects such as security, hygiene and how and where we store it but I don't want to get stuck in the weeds speaking about the same things we predict at the beginning of every year. This year I’m going to give two examples of really interesting things happening in the world that will affect our industry.

The changes in US government

While the social impact of Trump's looming inauguration as the new President of the United States is highly concerning, I’m interested to see the impact on business and the stock market. We have already seen some serious buoyancy over the past few weeks with the market and I’m sure that will continue well into 2017.  

The technology community in the US relies on two things, venture capital and human capital. While there was a dip a few years ago in those investing heavily in tech, if the idea is good enough venture capitalists will come out of the woodwork to help fund a growing company with awesome potential.  

That leaves human capital.  The concerning part for the technology community is that Trump has proposed some polarising changes to US immigration laws which could affect many technology companies based in San Francisco. The tech companies in the US, mainly Silicon Valley, have been luring international professionals across for years and these new laws may not only restrict that from happening but could also send many people on a working visa back home.

Tech businesses IPOing

Since the success seen from Criteo when they went public in 2013 there has been a plethora of ad and martech companies that have gone public with less than desirable earnings until The Trade Desk this year. My prediction is that we see more ad and martech companies successfully going public in 2017. 

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Steve Davis, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, OoyalaMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Steve Davis, Ooyala

2016 has been a busy year for over-the-top (OTT) content, and 2017 will be even busier. The following two key trends will shape the online content industry next year: 

  • OTT is the new normal – Pay-TV operators throughout Asia-Pacific need to reinvent themselves, or risk losing their viewers to new over-the-top (OTT) offerings. In Australia, specifically, the biggest shift is due to the boom of mobile. In fact, a recent report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said more than three-quarters (77%) of all adults in Australia access the internet via mobile phones with nearly two-thirds (63%) of Australians watching video online.

As such, 2017 will see a serious shift with pay-TV operators launching their own OTT services that are direct-to-consumer via SVOD, AVOD or TVOD business models. The opportunity is simply too large not to. 

However, services providers will have to take extra care to minimize subscriber churn. With so many options, the ease of dropping one service and picking up another is as easy as ever. Personalized video, high quality content, premium quality streams and less intrusive ads (if ad supported) will be paramount. 

  • Sell advertising smarter & the ad blockers saga – 2017 will be a year of reckoning for video advertising. eMarketer projects that digital will account for more than half of all ad spend in Australia next year, or $6.94 billion. To maximize profits, content providers need to get smarter how they sell, whether that’s directly or programmatically. Expect to see more companies take on holistic advertising approaches that give entire ad operation teams full visibility across all inventory. Understanding whether it’s more lucrative to sell inventory directly or programmatically will give content providers the ability to make smarter decisions with every ad, every time. 

However, be mindful. More video advertising may translate into more ad blocking, which 18% of Australians (and rising) already use today. It’s been projected that nearly $4 billion of revenue was lost as a result. Companies need a solution to combat ad blockers, whether through client-side or server-side technology solutions, or consumer-awareness campaigns.

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Michael Petersen - Director, MyMediaTradingDeskMediaScope's Partners - 2017 Predictions - Michael Petersen, MyMediaTradingDesk

Given we work solely with privately owned media and marketing agencies, our focus is reasonably narrow, but quite close to the action. The sense that's coming from conversations about workload and revenue is that the ever increasing breadth of digital media available for a schedule, is near impossible for a smaller agency to book and implement with multiple suppliers. Especially for those that run traditional media comms models and are billing through an insured media agency and leaving them a few % points for the invoicing service. 

It's my prediction that there will be an ongoing uncoupling between smaller independents and their (often listed, international) billing agencies. It used to be great to be able to say in a pitch "we've got the power of blah blah big boys behind us for research, programmatic, strategy, etc" but the reality we've seen is that these indies are then sending $5k-$10k briefs to 'their' listed trading desks and getting crickets in return.....all for 500bucks or so if it comes off.   That was fine when there weren't so many 'mainly digital' briefs, but with that growing, the indies need better service. 

Gone are the days when anyone could be killing it for in essence sending a few emails to the paper, tv and radio rep of choice.

This is such a niche issue though that it will never really hit the limelight, but we feel that it's important for the independent agency market. They need better profitability from the higher workload, digital campaigns and that's why my prediction (although very niche and very small scale in comparison to the issues of gender bias, fake award submissions, million dollar errors at agencies and big pitches) remains that smaller independent media and marketing agencies will fight harder for their own share of the media margin and change their business models to suit. 

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Denise Shrivell - MediaScopeDenise Shrivell - MediaScope

Thanks to industry colleagues and MediaScope Partners for sharing their forecasts for 2017.  

Thought I'd throw in some points too... 

Difficult Economic Environment – as many have pointed out 2017 is going to be a challenging year with our industry being one of the first to 'catch cold' when the economy sneezes.  With International uncertainty through massive changes including the unpredictability of a Trump presidency (Boeing lost $500m off its share price after he sent a negative Tweet about them), the breakdown of the EU combined with our own multiple Australian issues such as - ongoing political instability, slow wage, jobs and spending growth (one more quarter's fall in GDP & we're technically in recession), rising interest rates, high household debt, a housing market on the brink, slowing business investment - and the very real possibility of losing our AAA rating - all brings lack of confidence and fluidity to business and consumer sectors.  

While one's challenge is another's opportunity - the difficult economic environment will trigger several events including:

  • Consolidation, Contraction & Evolution – there is too much of everything causing canabalisation ie content, awards, conferences and events, training courses, agencies, media, adtech & martech vendors (particularly with Facebook & Google taking an ever larger share of media spend) - the list of plenty goes on.  Expect the market to consolidate and contract next year at an increasing pace in some of these sectors - but evolve and clump again in others.   Repeat for 2018 and beyond... 
  • Battle of the Media - already seeing media channels (& media owners) draw their battle lines. Action stations. 
  • Tax Avoidance by Media Businesses - as multi-national media businesses take even more advertising revenue much of their taxable profits goes offshore. (Several Australian based media businesses also pay no tax). A large and growing proportion of the money we generate through our hard work is not being put back into supporting the growing needs of an already struggling Australian community.  With a Senate Inquiry into tax avoidance this year, where several media businesses appeared, expect this to be an ongoing issue as Governments look for revenue and media businesses step up their competitiveness and find any chance of weakness - but will anything happen?
  • Trust and Transparency in the Media Trading Process – Marketers will double down on this now well covered issue as they're pressured to find efficiency within all aspects on their business.  Also expect automation and offshoring to pick up in the media trading process.

Consumers Will Rebel Against Media & Brands Not Reflecting Their Reality - in uncertain times and an increasing divide between socio-economic groups, the community looks for a truth and an authenticity which recognises and reflects their real lives - in political leaders and in the media and brands they choose to support.  (This can be false truth and false authenticity ofcourse - a whole other story)

There is a growing disconnect between marketing, advertising and the consumer audiences we reach as highlighted in this year's PwC Outlook Report which recognised us as 'Bondi Hipsters' communicating to a 'Upper-Middle-Lower Bogan' audience.  

The other angle to this is as an industry we're briefed on campaigns which don't reflect or recognise the realities of the business environment, communities and consumers we're selling to - with social media now offering many avenues to express dissatisfaction. (there is much anger and division in the community now)

Here's some recent examples...

  • CUB in Melbourne – consumers are actively boycotting CUB brands due to a workers dispute.  The #boycottCUB hashtag trended higher on AFL Grand Final Day than the official AFL# – but CUB advertising appeared as nothing was happening (on TV and social media) and attracted the expected amount of scorn.
  • #StonerSloth - this campaign went viral, globally - for all the wrong reasons culminating in Tommy Chong (from Cheech & Chong infamy) also commenting and ridiculing the campaign on social media. See this article
  • Banking Sector - an August survey shows 65% of consumers want a banking royal commission with media showing numerous stories outlining people's hardships - yet advertising for this sector, largely pretends nothing is happening.
  • #auspol on Twitter - a growing community of political junkies whose needs are not being met through political media. #auspol is one of the largest and most consistently active Twitter# communities - in the world.

As an industry we ignore real community issues, concerns and needs to our detriment.  In short - don't spin.

Diversity Continues Apace - we're making progress on gender diversity - other forms of diversity will continue to enter our landscape such as age, cultural and socio-economic.  To survive and evolve our industry needs an injection of new, diverse blood. (see the previous point)

Media Ownership Reform – who knows. Legislation is with a very messy, challenging Senate. Labor and Greens won't move on the 2 out of 3 rule so the Liberal's will need to get 9 out of 10 Senate crossbenchers on their side. In what is already one of the most concentrated media ownership landscapes in the world - it's been amazing to watch media owners move around their landscape like a well thought out game of chess over the last year or so - expect this to continue. My opinion is the reforms currently in front of Government are far too simplistic for a complex landscape, and look at the needs of (some) media owners over consumers.  This will only serve to bite us in the long run.  Interesting some say media ownership rules are now redundant - as they've been 'worked around'.  Recent market moves may back this up. See a full overview of this ongoing issue here

A Disrupted Media and a Disrupted Political Landscape is No Co-Incidence - the vital role of the 4th Estate in our democracy - news consumption, journalism, media ownership, narrowing of views/bias and agenda, Facebook's 'algorithm', fake news, hate news - and its role and influence on our political landscape will become a growing issue - as it should. With this, marketers will take more notice of the environments where their brands appear. Check out Stop Funding Hate - a social media movement advising marketers their brands are advertised around editorial spreading often politically and race motivated factually incorrect content - gaining strong traction and results in the UK. 

We'll see Increasing Impacts of Australia's Third Rate Internet Connectivity – Australia is ranked 60th in the world for average broadband speed with the rest of the world building their digital communications infrastructure around 21st Century fibre while we go last century copper.  As an industry we are exposed to these issues on several fronts.  Expect the realities and impacts of this to increase over 2017 and beyond.  See the NBN Open Letter for a full outline of this issue.

Overall, the next few years (at least) are going to be rocky and uncertain as our world transitions into somewhat unchartered territory - with our industry greatly feeling any impacts. We should be aware of these shifts, not alarmed, make as good a decision as we're able at the time – and be kind and respectful to each other. This - and taking a realistic view of our situation - is about all we can do…

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MediaScope's 2017 Predictions



Also see MediaScope's annual 2017 Predictions article with comprehensive forecasts from all channels within the media sector...



Further Resources...

  • MediaScapes - well-known guides mapping the entire Australian commercial media landscape - including digital media, television, outdoor and mobile billboard media, media agencies & more.  MediaScapes appear on office walls throughout the industry!
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  • What's On - we keep track of the most worthwhile media industry events, surveys, training courses and awards