7 Ways to Prepare for the Future of Media Operations and Advertising Today

By Jennifer Choo

KEY TAKEAWAY

The future of media operations and advertising is ever-evolving, especially into the endemic era. Adopting a performancedriven mindset, utilizing automation to scale business output, and building robust omnichannel strategies will allow media and marketers to leap into the unprecedented future with confidence.

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The media operations and advertising industries have seen their fair share of ups and downs over the past two years. While the onset of the pandemic seemed like the beginning of the end, the new endemic era has proven that advertising and media operations are not on the way out but simply evolving. 
 
As we look ahead to the future of advertising and media operations, we see common themes driving the path forward. Let’s explore the top predictions along with seven ways your team can prepare for the changes that lie ahead.  

1. Begin to Adopt a Performance-Driven Mindset

In the past, top-of-funnel metrics like brand awareness and views were center stage. Now, the industry is taking a deeper look to correlate media buys with bottom-of-funnel performance metrics like pipeline scale and sales growth. As a result, the pressure is on for advertisers to measure the effectiveness of ad spending. This, in turn, is driving more publishers and media streaming brands to analyze and present their media offerings in a more performance-driven way. 

How to Prepare

This may seem like an unwelcome change. However, if you can connect your offerings to impacts on bottom funnel KPIs, you can stabilize and scale revenue streams while ensuring higher rates of business renewal. This may seem like an unwelcome change. However, if you can connect your offerings to impacts on bottom funnel KPIs, you can stabilize and scale revenue streams while ensuring higher rates of business renewal.
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This shift is just starting to take hold of the advertising and media industry, so start now by developing efficient methodologies and effective strategies to connect your media buys to key performance metrics. If you’d like to begin with a single initiative, the integration of first-party purchase intent data into media buy targeting is an emerging strategy that will soon become the norm. 

2. Plan Hyper-Targeting Initiatives to Boost ROI

The demise of the third-party cookie and the everevolving data privacy changes continue to have an impact on the cost of media buys and customer acquisition. One central theme that is overshadowing the rising customer acquistion costs is the need to build meaningful relationships with modern consumers.
As advertising networks shift their focus towards bottom-funnel performance-based metrics and data aggregation, and consolidation via Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) creates more actionable and high-quality consumer data within databases.  As a direct result the breadth of audience reach will shrink which may seem like a step backwards. However, the rich, in-depth data these CDPs will house will enhance the quality of consumers reached. 
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How to Prepare

To adapt, dig deeper into your ROAS and associate your media spends to bottom-funnel metrics like closed sales or the delivery of a guaranteed number of sales leads for advertising clients. Maintain a constant pulse on budget allocation based on performance so that you can make optimizations and budget decisions that create the greatest impact. To start, reserve portions of media budgets to be directed into the highest-performing campaigns. 

3. Consider Ways to Integrate Automation Into Your Processes

Digital media within media and entertainment streaming brands continues to grow. According to PQ Media’s Global Marketing and Advertising Spending Forcast “…total marketing spending in the U.S. will expand 8.7% this year to $539 billion, while worldwide marketing spending will rise 7.2% to $1.376 trillion.This growth trajectory is increasing the need to integrate automation of order-to-cash and other repetitive workflows to streamline processes and enable scale for media publishers and streaming brands.

How to Prepare

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Implementing automation into more manual repetitive processes like order-to-cash will enhance the capabilities of media operations and advertising for brands. From streamlining these processes to reducing error rates, freeing up bandwidth for teams to focus on growth intiatives and speeding up the revenue recognition process, which all ultimately boosts ROI, automation integration is the best way to enable scalability and future-proof advertising and media operations brands. 
 
And automation integration can reach far beyond order-to-cash workflows. For instance, you can harness the power of creative automation to optimize your marketing and advertising creatives for enhanced performance and personalization, as well as increase your team’s bandwidth.

4. Develop an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

It is clear that the importance of a solid omnichannel strategy is critical in this new endemic landscape. What is still unknown is the depths at which omnichannel strategies will grow. Throughout the past two years, the marketing industry has seen an evolution when it comes to the types of creative and available channels to leverage within their marketing initiatives.
 
With the rising popularity of channels like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram pushing the boundaries of advertising, from static ads to interactive playables, video advertising, livestreaming and a uptick in influencerdriven marketing campaigns, the industry is building robust omnichannel strategies, the likes of which have never been seen before. 
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Additionally, we are seeing a boom in the development of retail media networks which are poised to increase the reach of advertising and media operations for many brands in 2022 and beyond. 
 
Mirroring the offerings and capabilities of large media networks like Amazon, these retail media brands are boosting the audience reach for their advertising clients, allowing them access to their robust audience data bases via adversting. Savvy marketing teams will include these networks within their future omnichannel strategies to ensure they are not only reaching larger audiences bases but appealing to a more qualified consumer base. 

How to Prepare

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Many savvy marketing teams have already begun to audit and reconfigure their omnichannel strategies to meet the market trends. If you aren’t already doing so, now is the time.  Start integrating trending channels like TikTok and Instagram and lean on marketing mediums like video, live streaming, and influencer-driven marketing to bolster your omnichannel success.  
 
Be sure to stay ahead of the trends and pivot your strategy to meet the market where they frequent. Embracing younger platforms like newly minted retail media networks and rising social channels will ensure you have a robust omnichannel marketing channel that reaches a vast array of potential customers.

5. Consider Customer Interaction When Crafting Creatives

With the everincreasing variety of channels available comes an increase in usergenerated, userdriven content and interactive creative mediums for ads. With video content platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat on the rise, advertisers are leaning into video and live streaming AR and VR to drive their messaging and increase customer engagement
 
As with many trends we see carry over into 2022 and beyond, the modern consumer is in the driver’s seat. With usergenerated content, many brands have seen an uptick in sales, so it’s clear that consumers value the opinions of their peers when evaluating products and brands.

How to Prepare

Encourage your customers to interact with your brand on social channels by creating hashtagged video reviews. This kind of organic, customerdriven campaigns creates buzz that many well-planned and designed marketing creatives and campaigns cannot. The power of word-of-mouth advertising for the modern era, if you will. And a great tactic to build trust between your brand and your targeted audiences.
 
In addition to organic consumerdriven campaigns, many brands are leveraging influencers within their marketing strategy to increase brand power and reach. In fact, some brands may see benefical results from combining these two methodologies.  What consumers want is information about products from a trusted source, and they value the opinons of their peers more than anything else. The key is getting those userdriven messages to key audience bases when, where,and how they will see and interact with them.  Start by leveraging influencers and loyal customers as reviewers and promoters of your brand across social networks via video and live streaming to raise the profile of your brand and garner more buzz.
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6. Adapt Data Strategies to Meet Market Demand

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Constantly evolving data compliance regulations coupled with the privacy changes brought forth by Google and Apple are changing the way data is viewed and leveraged. These changes are especially prevalent within the publishing and streaming media industries, where leveraging customer data as a selling point is the standard.
 
To adapt, many marketing teams are leveraging CDPs to streamline their data collection and management across all of their data sources. Brands leveraging media ops and advertising as a revenue stream will need the ability to provide their advertising clients connectivity to data without oversharing or putting data privacy at risk.

Some larger walled gardens have developed solutions for this via “CDP Adjacent” systems. However, we are still in the early days of developing an overarching solution for the wider media operations and advertising industries.

How to Prepare

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The imminent demise of the cookie is a driving force towards building solutions. The development of data connectivity systems and similar technologies can allow your team to connect and match data sets in a controlled and privacy-compliant way.
 
These new data aggregation solutions will be an integral part of enabling deeper personalization and customization to drive customer engagement within media operations and advertising. Start to leverage and build technologies that more accurately streamline fragmentated data into one consolidated environment. If your brand optimizes today to meet consumer demand tomorrow, your strategies will be aligned as you prepare to integrate into the Metaverse.

7. Prepare for the Rise of the Metaverse

While the concept of the Metaverse can seem a bit overwhelming, the outcome of implementing streamlined universal digital identities for users across platforms and software can be beneficial for users, marketers, and advertisers alike. As the transition to first-party data collection methodologies takes hold within marketing strategies, the need for unification of fragmented data to build user profiles becomes necessary. 

If the Metaverse concept becomes commonplace, the way with which we share, collect, and aggregate data will become more streamlined, allowing for deeper customization of marketing and advertising initatives. In addition, the Metaverse is poised to enable consumers to dictate both the depths at which they share their data and tailor how, when, and where they would like to receive personalized content. As a result, implementation of the Metaverse will simplify omnichannel strategy and implementation across the board for digital marketers, and advertisers granting easier access to their most relevant audiences and streamlining the data and reporting processes.  
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How to Prepare

As mentioned, the integration of CDPs and the development of new technologies to house, aggregate, and make firstparty user data more actionable is on the agenda for most brands. If you and your team actively work towards integrating these types of technologies, you’ll have a leg up on those who are not jumping into the Metaverse. Begin by loooking to what lies ahead for user interface, data privacy, and marketing capabilities in regard to the Metaverse and taking steps to optimize and future-proof your business strategies now.

Proceed with Confidence

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The future of media operations and advertising is ever-evolving, especially into the endemic era. Adopting a performance-driven mindset, utilizing automation to scale business output, and building robust omnichannel strategies will allow media and marketers to leap into the unprecedented future with confidence. Keep these predictions in mind and begin putting plans in place to ensure a seamless and successful transition into the looming Metaverse. As we look back on the progress that has been made over the past few years, we can predict a bright future full of even more opportunity in the media operations and advertising industry.
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