5 Ways Advertising Agencies Can Prepare for the Future

April 30, 2019

It’s hard to picture the advertising industry changing more than it has in the past 10 years, but the way consumers interact with advertising is evolving quickly. Agencies that aren’t prepared for assured changes ahead risk being left behind. Below is a glimpse into what’s on the horizon for the industry and how agencies can position themselves for what’s to come.


Digital Isn’t Going Anywhere

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but digital advertising is here to stay. While there’s been an ongoing fear of personalization and the use of consumers’ data, it may become more helpful than intrusive in the future. According to CMO.com, programmatic advertising will take up the majority of ad placements, meaning that the computer is deciding what ad to place, where to place it, and how much to pay for it.


The Perfect Measurement Tool

John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” This issue still remains true today. The top question on an advertiser’s mind is whether their ad is what made the consumer want to buy the product, and there could be a measurement tool that helps show this in the future. While we’re already moving away from impressions and focusing on engagement, advertisers are seeking out a new way to tell just how effective advertisements are on a consumer.


Influencer Marketing Gets Big by Going Small

With the popularity of social media, influencer marketing is booming. As more influencers burst onto the scene, they’re going to create smaller consumer groups, according to M Booth. Instead of “fitness enthusiasts” or “bike riders,” people will seek out even more niche communities, such as ‘“SoulCyclers.” With these groups being so specific, influencers will have to be authentic to establish a level of trust.


Creativity Still Wins Out

As stated in the Brand24 blog, advertising has moved away from the 4 Ps — product, price, place, and promotion — and moved into the four Es: engagement, experience, exclusivity, and emotion. Instead of asking, “What or how should I sell?” instead ask, “Why should I sell?” Emotional engagement is the key to capturing audiences, and if agencies want to differentiate themselves from the big tech companies trying every new gadget to attract eyeballs, they will need to use what makes them different: their creativity.


What the Agency Will Look Like

Efficiency will be the name of the game in the future, and the model seems to benefit smaller, broader agencies, according to Ad Age. Businesses want to be able to keep track of their agencies and what everyone is working on, making tight-knit, dynamic teams more viable. The account management or “gatekeeping” role will likely dissolve, and businesses will be able to have direct contact with anyone in the agency. Agencies will become flatter and more streamlined, allowing them to not get bogged down with protocols and focus on the work.


Paige Voeffray is graduating from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in spring 2019 with a BA in communications. She is a sports editor for The Michigan Daily and an intern at Phire Group.