The 'digital paradox'

Technology will continue to redefine the media landscape in 2020, creating opportunities and challenges for marketers.



By Jane Ostler

Published: Mon 19 Oct 2020, 2:09 PM

Last updated: Mon 19 Oct 2020, 4:12 PM

As ad spend on social and tech platforms continues to grow, technology innovations will also enable a renaissance in real-world engagement.

According to Kantar's global '2020 Media Trends & Predictions' report marketers and media owners will be challenged to develop the skills, engagement models and measurement capabilities to meaningfully engage consumers in the crowded media landscape.

Kantar predicts there will be a digital paradox; while new and evolving media channels will create opportunities, the deluge of digital touchpoints will make it more difficult to connect with consumers. Marketers will also need to navigate the 'data dilemma,' meeting consumer demand for relevant, personalised content, without breaching trust and privacy. And as third-party cookies start to crumble, advertisers will need to find alternative measurement solutions.

The 2020 Media Trends and Predictions fall into three major themes:

The technology trends transforming the media landscape

.    5G finally gets real: The marketing industry will be one of the key beneficiaries of the 5G era, enabling far greater capabilities to reach and engage with consumers but taking advantage of the 5G opportunity will require a significant transformation from marketers.

.    The battle of the streaming platforms heats up: New players will see the battle of the streaming platforms heat up, but an increasingly cluttered market will drive subscription fatigue among consumers.

.    Turning up the volume: Brands will turn up the volume and find their voice as we enter a new age of audio advertising. Newer audio channels are poised to gain mainstream prominence.

.    Content meets commerce: Content and commerce will converge as 'shopvertising' evolves from shoppable social to shoppable TV and digital out-of-home resulting in a contraction of the closed-loop marketing cycle.

The spaces that brands can credibly occupy

.    Brands get back to reality: Brands will balance their digital presence with more real-world experiences, meaning we could see a slowdown in the pace of digital advertising growth.

.    Brands take a stand: Taking the lead from consumers, brands will become more radical in 2020. But they need to ensure their media strategy is aligned with their values and purpose.

.    Influencer marketing must measure what matters: Influencer marketing will mature as brands start to collaborate more deeply and take measurement more seriously in 2020.

.    Esports goes mainstream: esports will go mainstream over the next 12 months, presenting lucrative opportunities for the media owners and advertisers that learn the rules of the game.

The context and catalysts for change

.    The trend towards media in-housing: The trend towards media in-housing will continue as more brands build their own teams of digital experts, pushing agencies and advertisers out of their traditional comfort zones, into a new collaborative and exciting space.

.    Changing the cookies recipe: The demise of cookies could leave many marketers in the dark. Advertisers need to prepare now for the new "mixed economy". Direct integrations between publishers and measurement partners will enable true cross-publisher measurement for the first time.

.    Doing the right thing with data: Faced with impending legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act in January 2020, privacy ethics will come to the fore and marketers will design personalisation initiatives with a people-first, rather than tech-first, mentality.

The year 2020 will be an exciting time for marketers. Increased advertising and content possibilities, along with the data generated, create a plethora of opportunities for marketers and media owners. With new opportunities though come new challenges.

Emerging foundational technologies could transform media usage, and other industry shifts, such as the demise of third-party cookies, will force marketers to evolve how they measure audiences across screens and wider campaign effectiveness. Other channels, like influencer marketing and the newer audio channels, will face a make-or-break moment; their credibility could be at risk unless they evolve and live up to their promise. Marketers will need to improve their understanding of how different touchpoints effectively work for their brands - online and off.

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Jane Ostler is a Global Head of Media, Insights Division.


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