On June 12th, Harmelin Media hosted over 75 clients, marketing executives and members of the media for Harmelin’s 2019 Media Trends Presentation. The event, held at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, centered around the rapidly changing media landscape and detailed the implications of media’s evolution for marketers, both now and in the future.
Picture this… it’s summertime, 1990, and marketers everywhere are frantically trying to put some finishing touches on their Q3 media buys before hopping into their ’88 Toyota (big spender!) and heading to the beach. After weeks of planning and pivoting between “all” of their choices, the plans are finally ready to be implemented. So, into the fax machine they go!
Fast forward almost 30 years and the entire media landscape has changed. Gone are the days of deciding between the select few; terrestrial radio, broadcast TV, direct mail, out of home (OOH) and print. Marketers are now armed with more options and more technology than ever before, which makes this a very exciting time, yet also a potentially challenging time. We must adapt to the evolving TV and radio ratings currencies and OOH viewership numbers, we have to figure out how to market to the right consumer in their own “prime” video viewing time slot, and we now can make OOH billboards accountable by measuring consumer actions via digital behavior. And oh yeah, we have to get on board with augmented reality and its use in advertising!
As marketing professionals, it is our responsibility to not only keep ourselves on the leading edge of technology and communications, but to also be able to dissect and recommend what we can do and what we should do for our clients. Harmelin Media President Mary Meder kicked off the Media Trends event with an encouraging stance. Meder said, “It’s an exciting place to be, and we have more ways than ever before to connect with consumers, to be relevant, and to make smarter marketing investments.”
The presentation discussed many advertising channels, including video, audio, mobile, out of home, social, VR/AR, search, voice and e-commerce. Some of the covered topics were the rise of OTT and how to reach your demo in the right place at the right time, the growth of social/mobile video and the challenge that Amazon presents to the Facebook and Google duopoly due to its wealth of consumer data. The agenda included thought-provoking Q&A panels with Harmelin’s channel experts, and many of the questions centered around Google, Facebook, Amazon and, of course, data.
Harmelin EVP Scott Davis discussed the difference in building media plans early in his career versus today. Davis said, “We’ve gone from an era of just a few choices to an unbelievably complex array of media options. But all those options mean we can do so much more for our clients than we ever imagined and improve their businesses like never before.”
After the presentation, several marketers in attendance shared their key takeaways. Most highlighted data capabilities. Insights included the ability to shift beyond demographics to data-driven, brand-centric targeting via advanced TV, and utilizing mobile data to harness location-based audience insights across both digital and non-digital channels. Attendees were highly interested in better using data to inform their marketing investments and make sure they are aligned with how consumers spend their time.
While that fax machine is probably in a closet somewhere sharing space with a typewriter, and that ‘88 Toyota is only but a memory, our actual planning mindset and our position on providing excellent customer service hasn’t changed much in the past 30 years. And it likely won’t change 30 years from now when another Harmelin employee is writing about how archaic voice and advanced TV have become.
We at Harmelin Media still strive to utilize all our available resources to present the best media plans and buys possible, even if now, we can adjust our plans from our smartphones from a comfy beach chair. The value of our understanding of these new channels is not to simply implement them in every plan, but to stay ahead of the curve and understand which avenues are best for our clients to achieve their initiatives and goals.