Consumers are evolving faster than advertisers ever wished they would. The biggest advertisers are falling behind their consumers more than anything else. Agencies, advertisers, consultancies, tech firms and even start-ups are facing an identity crisis, trying to find their corner in the new consumer marketing ecosystem.
In a typical servicing industry, you get to interact more with people who worry about today. I make sure to spare time worrying about what’s next. Every now and then, you hear some voices questioning the future of the agencies, but here we are, stronger than ever, focused and determined to continue the journey of connecting brands with consumers. Specifically, media agencies are strongly equipped to solve the complexity of today’s consumer: investment, media and tech relationships, consumer intelligence, diverse talent…the list goes on. I always quote Publicis Groupe’s Rishad Tobaccowala, who said: “Agencies are like cockroaches; they can and will survive anything.”
Where are we headed? This doesn’t mean agencies are going to get to where they want; it just means they have a solid chance and, hopefully, the leadership and resources to do so. Here, I’ll try to share my view, summarized in 12 points, on where the industry is heading in the next five years, assuming the players do the right thing.
Publicis Groupe just went through an existential transformation to have a chance to deliver on these changes. The future cannot be built on the pillars of the past. We will always remain in the business of connecting brands with consumers. We will slide away from being a media agency; we’re a partner for our clients to deliver business transformation in marketing and communications. We need to make sure our partners deliver such transformation, so we can continue to exist and grow together.