Ad Age’s Hot Button Issues for 2016

adageWhat’s keeping marketing and ad execs awake at night? Their answers are straightforward and surprising.

Interruption, disruption, disconnection and discontent — the challenges facing the marketing and advertising industry as we head into this new year are heady.

Advertising Age wanted to get a handle on just what exactly the industry is stressing over, so they asked several execs and heard “a surprising range of answers,” according to this article.

“The biggest issue in marketing today is the world’s reckless use of content,” said Jeff Charnery, CMO of Progressive. “Everyone’s so concerned about ad blocking and time shifting, but we see a very different threat. Everybody is flooding the web with their own content, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. That’s great, the web is democratized and the best stuff will usually rise up, but the clutter also makes it noisy. We’re not just competing with our top competitors, or even other brands outside of our category, we’re competing with people’s friends, mothers and self-made celebrities on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And it’s just getting started.”

For CP&B’s Lori Senecal, she sees marketers chasing after technology, instead of taking it by the reins.

“As an industry, we need to help marketers really take control of the technology solutions that unlock opportunities to offer consumers truly inventive, additive, and welcome experiences. But clients, agencies, and consumers will only benefit – and our industry will only thrive – if together with CMOs we can control the necessary technology from start to finish.”

For David Sable of Y&R, “digibabble and data glut” are what worries him.

“Time to stop the useless talk about digital disruption — it’s getting old and tired. Digital is everything but not everything is digital. And time to stop the faux worship of Big Data — meaningless. It’s all about Primal Data — you, me, etc.”

Others point to “clutter” (Acxiom’s Scott Howe); lack of a discernable point of view (Jan Jacobs from Johannes Leonardo), and maintaining quality in the content they create (Vox Media’s Jim Bankhoff).

What’s fascinating is there is no one issue, no giant “it’s the economy stupid” specter looming. For each segment of the industry, indeed each brand, the issues are the result of past performance and decisions, and a strategic look at where they want to be by this time next year.

For us, it’s about using the amazing new printing and data technology available in a way that makes sense to our customers and their audiences. We say bring it on.