“So What?” is the Big Trend of 2015

It wouldn’t be early January without a few predictions about what the new year will hold for the industry. In fact, I am preparing a presentation on the Near Future of Media for a DC AdClub event at the Newseum this January. And without further ado, let’s get to the big trend for 2015.

No matter how often I consider Watches, fancy apps, and the Internet of Things, I find myself meandering back to data and how it is forcing marketers to answer the question, “So what?” This is the future of media in 2015: Precision, specifically, the movement towards it.

Marketers and content creators alike are finding it increasingly difficult to get funded without data accounting for their performance. Those that analyze data and asuccessfully use that analysis to strengthen their communications programs will excel.

Big data is not a new marketing trend. The ability to use it intelligently is. As The Financial Brand so aptly noted, “Data analytics is the new marketing battlefield.”

Most larger media outlets are now harnessing data to create algorithms that determine which stories are bubbling up and should be covered, as well as which topics their readers/viewers/listeners care most about. The better advertising networks have A/B (C/D) versions and source the ads that are performing best. And most company executives have realized that digital media tools have advanced well enough that hypothetically they should be tracking first touch attribution, ROI, loyalty, etc.

The Big Learning Curve Headache

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Hypothetical was said with intention. Most companies don’t have experienced staff, analytical skills, time to learn, and/or the internal discipline to use their data assets well.

The time for excuses about not understanding media ecosystems performance is over. Company executives are now asking, “So what?” more and more frequently.

If a marketer, communicator or media outlet can’t prove that they are generating interest, return customers/readers/viewers/listeners, and yes, deeper engagement, then the inevitable “So what?” will turn into an even nastier conversation. Budgets will get cut. Demands will be made. Content will thin. Frequency will be reduced. All of this in favor of other more trustworthy initiatives that will grow a corporate profitability.

This is true of every digital tactic. If native ads are not yielding return, then customer profiles, content and medium will all be questioned. And if digital content designed to encourage customers still fails to create throughput to the corporate website, the inevitable “So what?” will happen.

When so what gets asked of an individual team player too many times without an evolution in performance and new answers, then the new reply will be “So long.”

At Tenacity5 all of us have completed or are taking Google’s Analytics Academy series of courses on measurement. Too many of our clients want to understand content performance, but don’t know the ins and outs of data analysis. We will help them as part of our services.

We are also publishing a SlideShare/white paper on the tips to hasten analytics adoption as soon as the new year is over. Hopefully, those that are following will find it useful.

Read all five of Geoff’s 2015 predictions on the Cision blog.

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