Leading up to this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), there was so much hype, it's as if everyone expected some earth-shattering announcements from the likes of Google, Apple, CBS, or Comcast. On the contrary, two of the most talked about stories came from unexpected players: Microsoft and Nokia. Microsoft announced it would no longer offer a CES keynote and, in conjunction with Nokia, introduced the new Lumia 900 Windows Phone. Surprisingly, other than that, everything else at the conference seemed to be minor evolutions in technology. However, this year's show was huge for advertising. Most media agencies were in attendance to host their clients with backstage tours of the show, mini conferences to educate them on changes in the digital media landscape, and examinations of new innovations available for future consumer engagement with content and brands.
More than anything, CES highlighted the dramatic number of new devices that allow consumers to access media from virtually anywhere. Consumers will soon be able access content from nearly every device they use on a daily basis, including moving beyond the mobile device, to consumption locations on our fridge, in our car, on the stovetop and on the bathroom mirror. These new devices support the democratization of media, making content ever present and consumers love it. The change in consumption habits will have implications on how we plan and buy media, and here are some of the ideas we are asking clients to consider:
1. Device fragmentation is making the media market very inefficient. Kurt Smith, VP, global sales for Verizon Digital Media Services told Digiday, "We have to hire people to find the right resources. It's amazing how inefficient the marketplace is." Similarly, managing content across various devices has major implications on resources and availability. Some content is already available on hundreds of devices, including the Web. How do those content providers prioritize, given limited resources?
2. Creating, planning, and optimizing advertising across varying outlets and devices is exponentially harder than planning and buying ads across the Web. This challenge is being addressed today by media agencies, which are able to provide a comprehensive view of the digital landscape and help make planning recommendations for clients. Media agencies investing in technology have the know-how, wherewithal, and experience to ensure clients get the best plan possible to meet their objectives.
3. The value of high-quality content will continue to rise and will be an extremely important component of powering the various device ecosystems. Steve Jobs and Apple understood this when they launched the iPod and again with the recent patent discovered for the Apple TV. Quality advertising content will obviously play a major role in ensuring that these new devices are adopted and the experience is in line with consumer expectations.
Those attending CES recognize that consumer habits are quickly changing; there are now more connected devices available than ever before and this has a direct implication on how brands choose to engage with consumers. Media technology companies and media agencies continue to play an important, consigliere-type role with their clients in planning for these new opportunities. They can now provide documented POVs highlighting how to best leverage new digital channels and create multi-faceted communications with the consumer. Any company with a strong, knowledgeable source on future trends will play an increasingly important role in the ecosystem, showing clients the best path forward and acting as the ultimate brand steward stitching their message throughout the ever increasing number of digital media outlets. So, what do you think? Who is best positioned to lead clients into the future and help them best navigate the new opportunities now available in advertising?
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Larry Allen is SVP, Business Development and Global Platform Sales 24/7 Media. He has responsibility for overseeing solutions for publishers across various advertiser and publisher-facing business lines globally.
Larry has extensive experience in digital media, marketing and business strategy unmatched by most standards. Prior to joining 24/7 Media in 2011, he held senior management positions at cutting-edge digital media companies such as AOL, Viewpoint, Unicast, Yieldex, Real Media and TACODA.
Larry also ran his own consulting business where he advised many major media companies such as The New York Times, Meredith, 33Across and Business Insider. He is a frequent contributor to a number of trade publications, blogs and industry conferences.
A graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania, with a degree in Business Management, Larry is based in 24/7 Media's headquarters in New York City.