The future of advertising: implications for agency culture

29 Jan

Today in class, media professor Stephanie Padgett gave a lecture on the future of advertising. As a strategic communication student, my journalism & advertising education has been entirely during this transition and it has been a pivotal time to follow industry news and the transition of models. As eMarketer points out, the average adult spends 700 minutes with media per day, increasing by nearly 80 minutes since 2009. Time spent with mobile devices has gone from 22 to 82 minutes on average, as smart phone ownership continues to rise. The more time we spend with media platforms, the greater amount of touch points there are for advertisers to hit consumers with a message.

Because of this, one key issue pointed out in the lecture is the communication and work required from advertising professionals to develop cross-platform campaigns for clients. Stephanie addressed how the agency model is evolving, and I have noticed this firsthand working at a media agency over the summer. Since clients bill their advertising agencies by the amount of associates working on their projects, much of this time is ineffectively spent since status calls, emails and interactions with other agencies working on the same campaign can easily take up half of someone’s billable hours. I predict that the idea of having multiple agency partners will soon be addressed by rising acquisitions, like internet companies such as Facebook and Google have already done. With Google owning YouTube and Blogger, Facebook owning Instagram and many other industry partnerships, advertising agencies will soon catch on and buy out digital agencies so they are fully integrated.

In addition, advertising agencies need to adjust the ways they approach paid, owned and earned media and its measurement. Traditionally, agency associates use measurement tools and reports to analyze campaign results and deliver them to the client. They also point out exciting situations where media is earned and find the sources. With new syndicated measurement tools and vendors doing this for companies, the need for billable associates is diminishing. Real-time dashboards decreases the need for manpower, so advertising associates need to prove their value with rich analysis. I look forward to seeing how the industry adjusts to this issue.

Therefore, the future of advertising not only holds implications for our interactions with the media, but those agencies and individuals who are developing and placing products, brands and campaigns every day. We must remain aware of this issue, not only because more than half of the Missouri School of Journalism is studying to enter this industry, but because of its prevalence in the communications, journalism and business landscape. We have seen the effect of the decline of newspapers on newspaper staff, and I would hate to see the increase in digital cause a decline in advertising staff. We need to place more trust in individuals proficient in the industry and less reliance on tools creating automated reports, or else agency culture will become extinct.

-Katie Artemas

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2 Responses to “The future of advertising: implications for agency culture”

  1. Patrick McFadden January 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I agree. I ask myself everybody, “How am I building awareness with my prospects and customers?”

  2. Patrick McFadden January 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Typo ,”everyday”

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