The media industry powered forward in 2016, adapting well to new technologies, including software and specialisms. It hasn’t been easy, but media agencies are arguably pulling ahead of other marketing service disciplines when it comes to embracing and building tech innovations.

1. This year saw the diversification of a number of media brands, as they stepped into new channels –
Vice launched 24-hour channel Viceland, Sky made its long-awaited move into mobile and Amazon expanded into just about everything. But it’s not just media brands that need to diversify. Agencies will need to follow suit; the success of the modern agency will depend on evolving in line with the latest trends – if they can’t keep up, like brands behind the times, they will soon be defunct.

2. Globalisation over the past few years has seen customers demand their favourite brands wherever they are – and at a cheaper price than ever before. Meanwhile, globalised marketing in agencies has largely been a failure. Cross-country campaigns have often meant bland global messaging, and have led to frustrated clients. Delivering global campaigns without losing the interest of a culturally and geographically diverse audience is an area that media agencies need to improve on.

3. Nearly 90% of marketers believe growth depends on personalisation and improved customer knowledge. The problem marketeers face is keeping up with creating the volume of tailored content to deliver personalised campaigns. Traditional agencies aren’t set up to deliver here; their cost structures are too high and their processes too inflexible. As a result, in 2017 we expect to see the lines blurring between media and creative agencies. As media is digitised – and as the tech is developed for last-minute and live-feed campaigns, even in a formerly non-digital space – the ability to deliver creative becomes ever more challenging.

4. Diversification, creativity and accountability will be the talking points into 2017 and beyond; we look forward to the challenge of staying ahead of the agenda.

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