The media industry’s 2020 resolutions

The end of the year is usually a time for the industry to reflect on its achievements — and screw-ups — of the last 12 months. But at Digiday, we’d rather look forward than back.

We assembled top execs advertising and media sectors and  new year’s resolutions — from what they hope their respective industries will achieve by the end of 2020 to their own, more personal goals.

Ana Milicevic, co-founder at digital advisory firm Sparrow Advisers

Your new year’s resolution for consultants in 2020?
Own who you are: the acquisitions some consulting companies have been making are turning them more into the holding companies they’re battling against. Knowing whom to bring on for the type of problem you have is key: and with that the understanding on the client side that it’s not just enough to hire a consultant, but to hire the right ones. Recycling old one-size-fits-all advice from dusty decks just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Your personal resolution for 2020?
I have two: this year I keynoted six international conferences and would like to at least keep that same number next year. It’s the kind of work that I really enjoy and hope to do much more of in the future. The other one may seem more mundane in comparison: I’ve taken up knitting. As a computer scientist I can appreciate how similar interpreting knitting patterns and constructing designs is to software development. I’m enjoying discovering an entirely new hobby immensely and learning something new from scratch. Knitters of media industries, send me your patterns!

Mark Evans, managing director of marketing and digital at U.K. insurance company Direct Line Group

What is your new year’s resolution for the marketing industry in 2020?
I think for many, the focus on building for the long-term is the obvious one. I talk to CMOs, senior ones, who are in their first year in the role and — particularly if you’re not in a professional marketing organization — the first year is about immediate impact and profit. You spend 90% of your time pulling at levers to get legitimacy but the very notion of doing that can undermine your ability to pull out of that nosedive. You need a bit of luck, perseverance and cunning to [get past] that short-term survival [mode,] but don’t neglect the long term. There are a ton of people saying that, but practically that means having tougher conversations early on to make sure the standing of marketing is built. There are many marketers who inadvertently got their boards and [senior management] hooked on the wrong metrics and unpicking that is quite hard.

What’s your personal resolution for 2020?
I’m running my first marathon in April. It’s been on my bucket list forever. Just six months ago I was promoted to the executive committee, which is a big commitment, so perhaps it’s not perfect timing. That’s a bit of a lightning rod for keeping things sensible and balanced.

Ryan McConville, evp of ad platforms and operations at NBUniversal Advertising & Partnerships

What’s your New Year’s resolution for media measurement?
With content available on so many platforms, each with different standards, it’s hard for marketers to measure the true impact of their advertising dollars in an apples to apples way. In 2020, we’d like to see the industry continue to embrace more cross platform standardization of how we count and measure impressions, so we can start to really look at “total video” delivery and impact. We’ve already taken the first step in this journey by creating CFlight, the industry’s first cross-platform unified advertising metric. That means one plan, one currency, one guarantee across every viewing platform. Beyond 2020, we want to go even further than unified impressions, to impact, and eventually true ROI. We’re going beyond legacy metrics to deliver clients the most comprehensive representation of their ad exposures.

What’s your own personal New Year’s resolution?
I am a first time dad and my son just turned three. So I am figuring out how to manage a “three-nager” – a subject matter much more complex than ad tech.

Shawn Riegsecker, CEO at ad tech company Centro

Your resolution for the ad tech industry in 2020?
That the industry turns its attention away from its singular focus on programmatic and starts to focus on enterprise-level automation. Outside of financial services, it would be harder to find a more complex and difficult industry experiencing this level of rapid change and disruption. As digital becomes more complex and difficult, combined with brands paying agencies less or taking digital in-house, media agencies will be forced to automate significant aspects of their operations in order to reduce costs and maintain profitability margins.

Your resolution for the media industry in 2020?
To start paying more attention to the mental and emotional well-being of the people working in our industry. The average ad industry worker is drowning, overly stressed and feeling like they’re not meeting the expectations of their clients or their managers. We spend too much time talking about technology and nowhere near enough time talking about how we can improve the quality of life for people in advertising. Ad technologies are fun and exciting to discuss but if the people behind the terminals aren’t happy and healthy, the entire industry suffers.

Tanya Brookfield, CEO at creative agency Elvis

What’s your new year’s resolution for creative agencies in 2020?
To continue to invest in talent and raise industry standards of how we treat our people – after all, we’re nothing without them.

What is your resolution for CMOs and marketing leaders in 2020?
We ask our clients to demand unexpected and unforgettable work from us. I would implore all marketing leaders to be relentless in the pursuit of the highest levels of creativity from your agencies. And when you see it, recognise the value of it.

Natascha Chamuleau, vp of global ad sales at WeTransfer

What’s your new year’s resolution for marketing leaders in 2020?
In 2020, I’m challenging myself and CMOs and marketing leads to think creatively, to bring brands’ visions to life in more beautiful and inspiring ways. I hope to move the industry forward by developing ads that are fun, interactive, and make users excited to engage with. Whether it’s voice, video or digital advertising, there will be a unique opportunity for marketing teams to put creativity at the forefront of our campaigns in the year ahead.

What’s your personal new year’s resolution for 2020?
In 2020, I will become a mentor again. It is so great to see people grow by helping them define their strengths, achieve their goals and share the knowledge that you take for granted.

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