What was once a mixture of billboards and print ads, the advertising industry now offers a seemingly endless number of ways for brands to reach their target audiences due to the constantly evolving digital sphere.
In times gone by, advertising firms would target potential customers by placing ads with media that appealed to certain demographics. Now there are tools and data available that allow advertisers to target potential customers with laser focus, honing in on the specific interests of those they most want to reach.
These advanced capabilities are crucial as we no longer consume media in the same way we did even five years ago. Our consumption of media is no longer limited to people simply watching programs on free-to-air TV or reading the newspaper of a morning. Instead we constantly switch between mediums and at any one time can be found accessing multiple platforms for news, to socialise and to satisfy our entertainment needs.
The sheer quantity of media and advertising we are exposed to every hour means consumers have learnt to shut out anything that doesn’t appeal to their personal tastes. And in response to this, today’s digital capabilities mean that we can target audiences based on their personal taste and create ads for them accordingly.
The rapid developments in technology and media consumption that have emerged during the past decade have signaled both an opportunity and a threat to advertising agencies. These changes have forced those in the industry to make a choice: diversify your service offering and stay relevant, or maintain the status quo and risk becoming redundant.
In the 2014 financial year in Australia, digital advertising accounted for 34% of total ad spend, up from 30% the previous year. While this portion is significant and growing, there still remains a demand for traditional media. The agencies being sought after now are those that who can provide a full gamut of traditional and digital ad services. Clients are dedicating increasingly large portions of their budgets to digital advertising, making a sophisticated digital department in addition to a more traditional offering critical for agencies.
At HBT we’ve recently appointed a new head of digital Luke Kelly who oversees all aspects of digital strategy for our clients including web, mobile and marketing. Luke is a thought leader in the digital space and is often sought for comment on industry developments. By constantly investing in our digital department and its expertise, we find we can offer new and existing clients a far broader range of services, which they require in order to remain relevant and competitive.
The advertising landscape has undoubtedly changed and will continue to do so. Brands should therefore be wary of engaging agencies that are staid in their approach, as ultimately this out-dated thinking will mean they’re left behind.