Clients lead the charge

The low cost of dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing is pulling them into the net

Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

CLIENTS AND NOT ad agen­cies are now the driv­ers of the shift to dig­i­tal me­dia – and it’s for one very good rea­son. “It’s cheaper,” says McCann World­group re­gional pres­i­dent Brett Gosper. “Re­ces­sion has ac­cel­er­ated the dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion. Clients are un­der pres­sure to cut costs and when they see how cheap it is they’re will­ing to ex­per­i­ment with it.

“But there’s an­other im­por­tant fac­tor: it’s pre­cisely mea­sur­able in a way tra­di­tional me­dia can’t match. Technology and mea­sured per­for­mance are the two ex­tra pil­lars agen­cies didn’t have to of­fer 10 years ago.”

Gosper, a for­mer Aus­tralian rugby in­ter­na­tional player who heads McCann’s EuropeMid­dle East-Africa re­gion, was speak­ing to

Fin­week in Jo­han­nes­burg dur­ing a short visit. A new set of chal­lenges re­quires a new style of ad agency, Gosper says. In­stead of brand plan­ning, think com­mu­ni­ca­tions plan­ning. In­tro­duce technology fundis into your cre­ative teams. And in ad­di­tion to cre­ativ­ity, try in­no­va­tion. And mea­sur­a­bil­ity leads to a per­for­mance-based cul­ture that re­quires an­a­lyt­i­cal skills never needed be­fore.

“Agen­cies could end up with split per­son­al­i­ties if the process is not man­aged well,” says Gosper. “They try to be­have as though the two are ex­actly the same. Some net­works go for sep­a­rate dig­i­tal agen­cies. We think you must em­bed it into the tra­di­tional struc­ture and al­low it to in­flu­ence that flow as much as pos­si­ble.”

McCann even goes so far as to ap­point a “technology cat­a­lyst” in each re­gion who talks to cre­atives about what technology has made pos­si­ble.

Gosper warns the dig­i­tal up­take will be very rapid in SA, driven mainly by so­cial me­dia. “But you can still catch up. You can get on board. Now there are two types of tal­ent in an agency: tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal cre­atives. They speak dif­fer­ent lan­guages. Tra­di­tional me­dia isn’t a con­cept of the Face­Book gen­er­a­tion – peo­ple un­der 25.

“Though you still need story-telling abil­i­ties, dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines and habits come with dig­i­tal me­dia. If you’re steeped in news­pa­pers it’s hard to do the kind of sto­ry­telling you need. In the old days agen­cies were on about cre­ativ­ity. Now they have to be more in­no­va­tive.”

The dif­fer­ence is sub­tle, but sig­nif­i­cant. In­no­va­tion, says Gosper, is “do­ing things that haven’t been done be­fore. Cre­ativ­ity is more about do­ing things we’ve al­ways done but dif­fer­ently. But you have still got to en­ter­tain. Brands that don’t en­ter­tain won’t suc­ceed.”

BRETT GOSPER

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