Wow, what a fantastic time we have had delivering DigiDive to our agency pals over the last 100 issues. I would like to send a personal thank you to everyone for continuing to read this content and engaging with us on the various topics in our space. I would also love to send a big thank you to all my team, past and present that have contributed to the success of DigiDive.

As we look forward to a bold new future with our new agency newsletter, Stuffed, it gives us a great opportunity to look over the changes we have seen during our time curating DigiDive and provide some thoughts on what we would like to see happen in digital in the next 100 weeks.

What a 100 weeks we have experienced! We have seen Britain leave the European Union and the country go in and out of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 2020 will go down in infamy as one of the most transformational years of our existence – it is likely that the world we see after this will be very different to what we have seen before. Slightly less significant, we have even had our own Nick Suckley launch his very first book – Start. Scale. Sell.: 75 Lessons for Business Success – which whilst obviously has less cultural significance than the other two change. I would recommend everyone to buy this as the insight he has amassed over the years is truly fascinating.

Closer to home, we have seen some massive changes in the digital media landscape. We had the rise of Houseparty at the beginning of lockdown, only to be hit with some questionable press that stifled its growth. We have also seen the rise in prominence in TikTok, which is proving to be a great platform for brands, even if a certain fluffy haired president is on a one-man war against it! Recently saw the results of the long awaited ISBA/PWC report – which showed we have a lot of work to do (more on this later in the article) and in perhaps the biggest change we are going through at the moment, Google announced that they plan to abolish all cookies by the end of 2020.

The next 100 weeks should fill everyone up with as much excitement as it does us in the digital team here at Goodstuff. As we enter a brave new world, there are so many opportunities for us and our clients to be progressive in this space, adding value to customers and helping them understand our brands messages as part of their customer journey. Below I have listed a few things I would like to see from the industry over the next 100 weeks:

Be more than good

The internet was built as a place to bring people together. However, it is increasingly driving people apart, creating angst and anger amongst communities. Brands should look to build positive messages and bring communities together. We saw the brilliant coming together of people when we first went into lockdown – clapping for careers and helping the community – brands should enable this more in their comms whilst using the infrastructure and tech that digital provides to do this.

Be more brave

There is no doubt that the economy is struggling now and will likely do so for a while. Now is the time for brands to be brave – both in digital and offline channels. The benefits of investing in media during a downturn in the economy are well documented and brands should look to embrace the marketplace as we find it soon.

Prove digital’s value in building brands

For a long time, digital’s role in the marketing mix has been established firmly as the final stage in the consumer journey – securing the conversion. However, there are more people online for more of the time compared to any other media. We need the industry leaders to work together to fully prove the value that digital comms has in the media mix. The online advertising industry should look to their trade bodies, like the TV industry does with Thinkbox – who have done a fantastic job statistically proving the value of their media channel.

Be more than GAFA

Somewhat linked to the above point, 70% of digital media spend sits with Google and Facebook. Whilst this is not surprising due to their reach and ability to provide confidence to advertisers in their ability to convert customers, brands should also make sure they understand the ‘outside’ i.e. The media solutions that sit outside of these walled gardens. There are thousands of incredibly smart and hardworking media in the UK alone that are all striving to compete in this space. These media brands offer amazing solutions for advertisers and work incredibly hard to deliver something unique and different to clients to build brands. It’s the reason we were the first to work with the Ozone project. It is why impartiality is at the heart of what we do at Goodstuff. It’s why we are transparent. It’s why we always work to the integrity of the plan. It’s why we are….good.

Work together to tackle trust issues

The ISBA/PWC report highlighted some things that we didn’t clearly know – such as the aptly named ‘unknown Delta’, but it was a case of the old proverb “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. Anyone who has worked in digital for long enough wouldn’t have been overly surprised by the findings unfortunately. There is a known issue of trust here and we need to work together as an industry to build solutions and put pressure on the DSP/SSP and general programmatic ecosystem to demand better for our clients. Whilst there are some fantastic responses since – we are yet to see the agencies band together for the better good. Whilst we obviously compete with each other for new business all of the time, we need to work together for the greater good and clear up this mess once and for all.

We have really enjoyed curating all of the content for Digidive over the last 100 weeks, but will move on to an even stronger platform in ‘Stuffed’ from next week and hope you will join us on this journey. You can subscribe here.

 

Dave Carpenter | Head of Digital