At a packed Impact One-on-One event held in Mumbai on Thursday, David Verklin, Chairman of Carat Asia and CEO of Carat Americas, held the gathering of leading media professionals enthralled with his presentation of the future of global advertising. Impact is the marketing, advertising, and media weekly from the exchange4media Group.
Among those in attendance were Anupriya Acharya, President, The Media Edge, Nandini Dias, VP, Lodestar, Nitin Bhagwat, Executive President, Interface, Kiran Khalap of Chlorophyll, Mahesh Chauhan, President, Everest, Suresh Balakrishnan, Head-Marketing, DNA, Dilip Venkatraman, Head-Marketing, CNN-IBN, Rahul Welde, Head-Media, HLL, Kurien Matthews, Director, TBWA India, Rajesh Sule, Director, Insight, Partho Dasgupta and Sanjay Raina from Times Now, Ishan Raina, Chairman, Havas India, Gautam Mukerjea, GM-Marketing, Indian Express, Devraj Sanyal of Percept, Bharat Kapadia of Divya Bhaskar and former Test cricketer and commentator Krishnamachari Srikkant.
The one-on-one, held in Mumbai, had Verklin talking on ‘What’s your favourite future?’ in the advertising business, where he expressed some of the most powerful thoughts and ideas about the future of advertising.
According to Verklin, advertising’s future was something that could be moulded and driven the way we wanted it to. Verklin’s opinion of advertising’s future is where we will witness a collision of brand advertising, direct marketing, data analytics and technology deployed with a purpose. He added that the future would have communications planning at its core, with advertising being placed in front of the interested with incredible speeds to market.
Some people feel that the advertising business is too vast with too many components thrown in and this makes it difficult to plan. Others might have an opinion that technology is growing so dramatically that it is almost difficult to imagine or even determine advertising’s future.
Verklin said, “I am here to tell you that I believe the opposite; that as an industry we have a fascinating future ahead of us, one that technology has begun to bring into view. And, if we collaborate on our common interests while still competing aggressively, we can help determine what the future of the advertising industry will be.”
This, he added, “will be possible by first moving away from the way that we have collaborated in the past – though trade associations are still important.” Verklin’s idea is using a different approach to plan the future of industry and to work towards creating a great future for the advertising business through reinventing, banding, discussing, and debating about shaping the future of the advertising industry.
He added, “We can shape the future of advertising if we talk about it, if we have interest in it, if we become students of the industry again. And we can probably evolve the industry to a future that we can all be really excited about and want to be a part of.”
According to Verklin, more than thinking that the 30-second commercial was going to be dead soon, “we as an industry should be thinking about the fact that the advertising industry is changing, it’s morphing, it’s evolving and it’s growing”. He added, “Advertising has a fascinating future that we can now help shape, but we have to seize the moment.”
Verklin said that advertising in the near future was going to be about advertising to the interested through advertising on TV via TiVo that would allow people to manage their TV service through a search based interface. This, he said, was his favourite future.
Talking about a new prediction for the future, Verklin said, “In the future, we are going to see the emergence of a company that will manage the serving of digital ads on the web. Right now you have heard of web servers called Dart and DoubleClick, but nobody yet owns the serving technology that will manage full motion video serving on the web.”
The advertising industry is undergoing a great change. He said, “What happened in the last 12 months? WPP is in the middle of integrating Grey Advertising into its network of companies. Vincent Bollore has taken control of Havas and more change is imminent.”
All of this change offers us a wide array of choices for our industry and the chance to ask again, what’s your favourite future? Verklin also predicted that companies would need to ensure that experts in advertising were involved in conceiving the next generation of new television technologies.
He said, “VOD, DVRs, TiVo, broadband – we cannot let what happened with the Internet happen with the new television technologies. We’d do so at our own peril. That’s why an exchange of ideas between advertisers and TV’s technical team is so important.”
Another critical prediction that Verklin made was, “The media plan of the future, I believe, will have no more than 50 per cent of its spending in television and that in regard to direct marketing, the website will become much more central to direct marketing than it has ever been.”
The media plan of the future will have several more components. It will involve all kinds of media. It will have more interactive elements: television, radio, digital, online. It will include other forms of marketing, including experimental marketing, sports marketing, direct marketing, direct mail and others. It will embrace other communications efforts as well, including public relations and special events.
Carat’s research predicts that by 2020, 80 per cent of all media will be digital, a significant portion of that will be wireless. This, said Verklin, was a huge opportunity and “we need to talk about how we are going to use the cellphone as a vehicle for commercial persuasion. The phone system of the future will provide subscribers with not only telephone time, but perhaps more importantly with content.”
Advertising is changing so rapidly and offering so many potential ways of reaching perspective customers that strategic consulting for advertisers is emerging as an entirely new business. Creative agencies are beginning to get into a navigation and guidance business.
Steering through this very tricky and rapidly evolving communications environment is requiring expertise unlike anything we have ever seen in the past. The options for advertisers will be broader than ever and the process of compiling and assessing those options will be a business unto itself.
Verklin concluded by saying, “It’s an exciting one and one that captures the fascinating era of communications in which we live. One that embraces the changes that are happening in our industry, in our world, in our country, and in our lives. One that makes it clear that we are at a pivotal moment in a pivotal field, in a pivotal time in the history of commercial persuasion.”