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Four trends that will shape the agency business in 2021

Four trends that will shape the agency business in 2021

Four major challenges to the media agency community — and the opportunities that lie within them :

  • E-commerce As brands, retailers (and Amazon) strive toward building relationships that include shelf space, online sales and media advertising opportunities, media agencies struggle to offer value in those exchanges. Ultimately, agencies need to build up this area of expertise in order to guide their clients (the brands) on how to best harness e-commerce opportunities, which now account for $1 of every $5 spent in retail.
  • Data/Identifiers: With the demise of the cookie, there’s a race underway among dozens of ad-tech players to find the next identifier for consumers. It’s early in the race, but it’s exactly the right moment for media agencies — whether through the 4A’s or IAB or individually even — to ensure that whatever system(s) win(s) out, it incorporates the elements that enable agencies to get the information they need to be a successful agent for their client. And no matter the winner, agencies need to demand clear consumer consent for data harvested.
  • Remuneration: If agencies, media or creative, don’t soon improve on the dwindling returns they are paid for work on behalf of clients, they will be whittled out of existence by procurement specialists and consultants. Problem is, how to get clients to agree to terms that take them out of the catbird seat at a time when every brand is cost-conscious? There are no easy answers — should project work take over for retainer-based deals?— but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be sought out. Take a look at this story from Digiday senior news editor Seb Joseph that underlines some of the challenges facing agencies.
  • Post-Pandemic: When the coronavirus crisis hit last year, virtually every “normal” way of doing business was thrown into disarray and turmoil. Media buying and planning was disrupted because consumer habits were upended from quarantine life and the negative impact on content production. To boot, like most other industries, agencies have had to figure out how to work mostly from home. How they respond this year and beyond will certainly have long-term repercussions and impact on the future of work.