The last decade for this industry witnessed the birth of ‘Media Independents’, and now I believe we are in the adolescent stage with a lot more maturity with 10 years of collective knowledge. We have learnt to treat this as a business and NOT as a department.
There are no major milestones, which we as an industry collectively pushed forward, and I see that emerging in the coming years. However, I see the explosion of communication channels continuing to rise on the back of declining effectiveness of any one single medium, which will prompt the agencies to diversify their skill sets and look beyond traditional media and invest in specialist services.
The business structure of the media agencies will go through a structural change, with accountability sitting at the centre of remuneration and, therefore, we will be moving away from the traditional commission model for large part of the industry. I believe this is good for the industry.
Clients will continue to question the marketing investments through multiple stakeholders, and herein lies the presence of third party auditors, and we agencies must learn to live with them. It will no longer be the longevity of a client relationship, but what share of your clients’ business one handles will become an interesting point of discussion.
I personally believe the “toothpaste is out of the tube’ as regards the relationship with creative agencies, but there will be a lot more strong forces of collaboration for the collective growth that will drive the business. I also believe there will be lot more debates on who owns the data and who interprets the data.
All in all, the next 10 years will be driven on the back of collaboration and a much stronger investment on insights, where we move forward from living on just industry based research reports to customised category specific knowledge.
(R Gowthaman is Leader, Mindshare - South Asia.)