Given Festival of Media’s “demystify the new world order” theme, one could be forgiven for expecting a big reveal. While the reality was less dramatic, it was certainly pragmatic and four core themes emerged:

1. Work hard to make it simple:

Gerry D’Angelo, P&G’s Global Media Director, emphasized that too much time is spent untangling the complex media chain and change requires investment in understanding the detail in technology. He cited his own experience where he had 20 separate partner meetings and didn’t let them leave until he fully understood the offering. Marketers should leverage their agencies to set up learning sessions that increase tech understanding, enabling more time to discuss strategy and execution, instead of mechanics.

2. Get back to basics:

The illusion of an endless supply of inventory in the digital age is being replaced by the reality of retrenchment. Spotify highlighted the opportunities of time and place audio plans, while Burberry,, Bacardi and P&G talked about shifting back to prioritize reach over targeting and personalization opportunities. Marketers should focus their media briefs around the role media can play in helping marketing reach its objectives as opposed to what one can do in specific media.

3. New and old media inspire each other:

An interesting paradox between new and old media played out. Channel 4, a British broadcaster, demonstrated how they use data to create audience segments as opposed to demographics. Conversely, Spotify compared their platform with “drive time” opportunities of radio’s past. Advertisers should bring media partners in early as they become more flexible in their approach to both increase understanding of their offering and identify the right solution.

4. Push for marketing (not media) metrics:

A united plea resounded to get back to metrics closely linked to marketing.
GSK shared its pivot from measuring engagement in social media and replacing it with reach. Online ad measurement company Moat highlighted how they are changing the digital measurement foundation by assigning a value to a consumer’s attention, not a platform’s delivery mechanic. Marketers need to interrogate their briefs and ensure campaigns’ KPIs are about media’s value to business, not media tactics.

Author: James Shoreland, Global Managing Director, Spark Foundry