Eyeballs, not devices – agencies need to catch-up with consumers
The consumer is ahead. Way ahead. The unfaltering advance of technology has provided a multitude of devices that consumers can connect to the web with. As the UN recently declared, the internet is a basic human right.
And the number of gateways to it, now outnumber the UK population by quite some margin. It’s no longer just sitting in a room at home being switched on and off intermittently. It’s always on, it’s being accessed in every room and most significantly, it’s being accessed via a growing number of devices.
So, as an industry, how on earth do we keep up with this ever evolving, complex network of consumption? It used to be so easy. One user; one device – serve an ad; hit your audience. However much we protest it, the truth is the industry still operates almost entirely in a device centric way. Despite having a very good idea of who the target audience is, and even knowing a lot about what the audience are consuming on each platform, we still plan, buy and sell media in channel silos. We target the device, not the person.
Yes – we’ve become a lot more collaborative in the way we operate as media businesses. Media agencies are making a good go of it, with planning/buying departments no longer sitting in separate hubs of TV, Online, Radio, OOH and Press. They are sitting “together”, sharing ideas, and working hand-in-hand to deliver the ultimate balance of audience cover at the right frequency, for the right price, to solve clients’ briefs.
The supply side are also becoming more joined up. In the main, this is driven by consolidation but there are signs of a new understanding of how their various product offerings work together, across the various platforms they have in their stable.
But really, in these new structures the challenge remains. How do we deliver advertisers audience reach in a controlled manner across all devices in one currency? Surely, with all this technology, comes an alignment of disparate media platforms; an ability to deliver and report audience reach and coverage in a single currency irrespective of device? The consumer is ahead, consuming media in an unbiased and neutral way across whichever device or platform that suits. It’s time to catch up…
Graeme Hutcheson is head of video at Specific Media.
Main image via Bigstockphoto.com