The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year – by Nick Grinberg, Head of Strategy.
For someone who has been in the performance media world for over a decade – 2023 was a good year. It feels like I have been talking about the accountability of paid media performance for what feels like a lifetime. It was great to see 2023 finally bring this theme into focus.
Perhaps it was some of the more bear-ishmacro-economic factors – the increasing cost of media or pressure from leadership –but brands became increasingly focused on the performance and measurable outcomes being generated from their media investment.
We saw this emerge in several ways:
- Conversations around how success is measured: We have seen brands embrace a more ‘holistic’ view of paid media performance as opposed to siloed channel/campaign executions. Whilst this year has meant that there is increased scrutiny on media results – there is a balance being struck between the need for short term results (eg: sales) versus long term brand building. Every brand wants to capture the customer when they are looking to buy – the smart ones are investing earlier in the customer journey.
- Media wastage: Look at where brands can cull media spend with minimal detrimental effect. I have noticed that there is an increasing pressure on brands to do more with less. We have spent a lot of time this year discussing what effective media mix modelling looks like as well as where waste can be systematically removed (especially in digital media channels).
- Communicating and sharing success: Marketing teams are more focused on getting internal stakeholders aligned, engaged and maybe even excited with the work being done and what’s to come.
Next year, I am hoping for more of the same with regards to an expanding focus on accountability and performance in the paid media space. I hope that brands continue the focus on media performance, transparency, and ongoing improvement. We are trying to encourage brands to be open to ongoing media audits, performance-based compensation with their agency partners and being more aware of their data ownership and governance.
There is a lot to do at any given time and it can often be intimidating to navigate all the change (think AI enablement, cookieless future etc) so focusing on continuous improvement is much easier than trying to boil the ocean.
This rate of change is also what excites me as there is an opportunity for challenger brands and agencies to shine in this kind of environment. The coming year promises to be one where adaptability, innovation, and commitment to performance will remain at the forefront of our industry.