Interconnectedness and the Future of Media Buying

Every day I have the pleasure of meeting with publishers both large and small. Most of the meetings are very straightforward, and we discuss the nuances of a media transaction; the more savvy partners will highlight proprietary data that is available to help buyers triangulate on the audiences that will move the needle for a campaign. However, yesterday I had a very rare meeting: the company was an aggregator of inventory, a company I normally wouldn’t prioritize. I was immediately surprised by their sophistication, thought process, and general openness to identifying the ideal way to exchange data, how they make media uniquely available, and have crafted a program that is exclusive but most importantly, was not centered on desktop. They were considering 100 percent of their consumer access points and were looking for ways to enable our brands to engage the audience across every touch point.

This conversation really hit home and was made more interesting with last week’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona where the world gathers to highlight mobile innovations, new wearables, connected cars, and the Internet of Things Mobile World Congress used to be an event where carriers and device manufactures got together and focused mainly on infrastructure, not media or consumer devices. The event has evolved and is now considered by many to be the CES of Europe, attracting people from a variety of industries.

Why is this interesting to a media guy, and why an article titled “Interconnectedness”? It occurred to me that similar to the challenges the media industry faced when cable TV came to be, or in the mid-1990s when digital media (e.g. the Internet) began to gain traction among consumers, mobile or more appropriately, the Internet of Things, is about to cause massive disruption and fragmentation to the ways we buy and sell digital media.

Interconnectedness is part of a worldview which sees oneness in all things, sort of like an interdependence. This view is one that we share on behalf of our clients as we look to draw insights and build consumer portraits from the data consumers are now making available anonymously through all of these connected devices. Many people talk about cross-screen targeting, but today, most buyers are simply buying in three silos and then best case scenario, consolidating reporting, and showing reach and effectiveness across these screens. The Internet of Things isn’t really about the screens where the consumer engages with content or brand messages. The movement is much more about a new data infrastructure and set of standards by which a variety of signals can be shared for a variety of analytics. The volume of data that is becoming available to companies via these devices is creating a challenge. It’s not a big data problem, but more of an aggregation and holistic view of all touch points and then building an analytic process to distill these signals into usable segmentation that can be reacted to dynamically in various digital media environments.

What do you think about interconnectedness and how marketers will consume and leverage these new signals that will grow exponentially over the next 18 months?

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