By Greg Allardice 26 Apr, 2017
There is no denying that the smartphone has already changed the way people communicate and as a result also the way that advertisers can communicate. AI or artificial intelligence is the next step in media campaigns and in particular voice intelligence where the consumer speaks to their smartphone and through voice only without visuals a two way transaction takes place. This opens up a new offering for advertisers where the traditional one messaging or commercial is replaced with artificial intelligence via voice. The shift is to assistance based marketing , where the personalisation of the interaction takes over. For example, consumer says to smartphone book my airline ticket from A to B on this day at this time. The machine is programmed to understand the local language, tonality and needs. The machine does the rest, booking the ticket and issuing payment details. Does this sound fanciful? No it's not, as the technology is in it's infancy and over the course of the next few years will be reality. This takes the use of media to a new level of fulfilment. It will be common place and so simple our friend in the photo could use it.
Your Media Policy, Media Strategy, Media Planning, Media Buying and Media Audit can take advantage of artificial intelligence. If you have not addressed AI and if it is suitable for your business, Media Futures recommends you seek out an independent media specialist. Media Futures presents articles in the constant search for improving return on media investment.
By Greg Allardice 23 Apr, 2017
The role of commercial media is to entice you to spend your media budget and spend it all with them. However rarely if ever does the media or the media agency ever say STOP spending your money or simply STOP for a period of time. 

A wise media specialist will be across 2 sets of business conditions, firstly what's happening in your business on a daily basis and secondly what's happening in the media market. Often there comes a time when the media specialist needs to advise you to STOP media spending because your business does not need media at that point of time, there are issues within your organisation that no amount of media will fix, your  future business conditions are mapped out well enough to have a clear picture of the road ahead or that the media market is not right; IE it is not the right time to invest your media budget.  

In other terms knowing the right time to STOP and advise you, the client,  clearly why their media budget should be held back and conserved for a concerted effort at a later date. 

If your media specialist has not got the guts to advise you when to STOP spending in the media  then it's time your media policy, media strategy, media planning, media buying and media audit are due for a re think.

Media Futures presents articles in the search for ever improving return on media investment.
By Greg Allardice 17 Apr, 2017
Longer form lengths of video messaging such as 30 and 60 secs in online settings are on the way out.  They simply are too long in an age of nano second communication. Attention spans are best catered to in short form messages like the six second "Bumper Ads" . This definitely applies to mobile phone video messaging.

These are non skippable and in essence " force " the audience to watch. These come at a premium price but are worth it in your media mix. 
There is nothing worse than an audience who click you off and you still pay for the click.  What a waste of money.  But so many just keep throwing their media budget down the drain. So it pays to go short and pay for the full six seconds.  When linked to remarketing it's a powerful combination.

If your media policy, media strategy, media planning , media planning and media buying have not addressed short form online video it's worth considering. Media Futures presents articles in the interest of improving ROI and best practice in media.
By Greg Allardice 12 Apr, 2017
 Most media consists of one way messages. The viewer or reader sees the message and hopefully they might interact with you product. Now add on Blockchain where the media user can click and be connected to a one to one transaction system from Point A to point B. The money part is completed directly not through third party. The transaction is via an open decentralised database community. Think about the applications for your business. You the advertiser and the buyer are a one to one transaction eliminating third parties. This link came from extending your media technology over and above a one way message.If your media policy, media strategy, media planning and media buying have not addressed Blockchain it's time to include it into you media thinking.
Media Futures presents articles of interest with the aim of always improving media practices.
By Greg Allardice 11 Apr, 2017
Search is a daily task for most, looking for the right product or service and wanting it fast. Are you aware of the subtle search changes and in particular Google search?  There used to be 11 paid search advertisements on the right hand side of the page, however this has been reduced to seven. This came about through an eye mapping study in 2005 which found that paid search listings were receiving less attention. Reading patterns had evolved into more vertical patterns and less of the original F pattern of page reading.This change has been compounded by a preference towards showing mobile sites. Hence search results are more concise. This means less options for advertisers. The value of a top three listing for paid search becomes very competitive which means the cost per click goes up. So who makes more money? Google of course. This puts more pressure on your media budget and it is likely you are paying more to reach the same market. From a media buying perspective that is not a good thing. 

Online search is an art as is all media buying. There is no such thing as a sure bet and persisting with the old ways of buying paid search are a waste of money. Media Futures recommends a mix of long tail key keywords and quality content before considering paid search, therefore enhancing organic search results.  Paid search is an additive when you need more responses over a fixed period of time.

If your media policy, media strategy, media planning, media buying and media audit in the online space have not addressed search, it is time to sit down and upgrade your online practices. Media Futures presents industry based articles in the constant quest for maximising media ROI.

By Greg Allardice 07 Apr, 2017
The media industry appears to be in a state of turmoil, a dog eat dog existence that has no foundation nor a purpose for the future. Against a back drop of fragmented media offerings, declining audiences, flat revenues, online media scandals and lack of placement transparency, is it any wonder that a call for a "Back to Basics" approach is not unreasonable? 

For media strategy, media planning, media buying and media audit, the keys of "Back to Basics" can be defined as follows -

* Clearly define your core audience
* What is a fair price to effectively reach that audience and have your message seen or heard
* What is the ideal reach and frequency of repetition to make your message remembered
* Conduct an audit of performance measured by industry recognised and approved audience numbers

If your media has not undergone a "Back to Basics" make over, then it is worth it to turn off your media spending whilst you reconsider what truly works and what is simply a waste of money. Hit and miss frantic media activities in this current environment do not work and will only get worse if you continue to be sucked into the vortex of the popularity vote .......
IE: participating blindly in what is the latest and hottest medium mentality

" Back to Basics" is recommended for those advertisers and marketers who want responsible media practices and who seek to gain the optimum ROI . Are you courageous enough to turn off your media spend whilst you review what is truly going on?

Media Futures presents industry related articles in the search for the best possible and professional practices in Media Policy, Media Strategy, Media Planning, Media Buying and Media Audit
By Greg Allardice 28 Mar, 2017
Digital usage is now used across multiple devices. Time was when the lap top or desk top computer was the place where consumers did their online purchases. With the rise of the mobile phone it now means that consumers can use up to 3 devices in one day . Here is a typical example: users will research on their lap top at breakfast, work on their smartphone on the way to work and make a purchase on their work computer later in the day.  What this means is multiple online devices are being used all with different screen formats and a unique psychology applicable to each device. Of greater importance is cross tracking, that is ensuring that the initial click at home can be tracked across devices therefore allowing advertisers to better understand how business campaigns are working. The add on to this is instore conversion tracking,  where sales are made at a bricks and mortar outlet.

If your media policy, media strategy, media planning , media buying and media audit have not take into account cross tracking as part of your plan it's time to contact an independent media specialist. Media Futures  presents industry based articles as a means to provide updates on improving ROI on your media investment.

By Greg Allardice 23 Mar, 2017
Programmatic trading has hit a road block. It is suffering from lack of transparent measurements / real audience and has not worked for many organisations. Here's what the AANA had to say ........“Ad fraud is an issue for everybody. It exists in different proportions in different parts of the world. In the US it’s really a very big problem. In some markets, it’s less of a problem. But it’s out there, and it’s growing. And you have to have an active management program, working with your partners to work out how that’s affecting you. Ditto for Facebook’s metrics… you need to understand how that affects you, what you should do about it, how you work with your partners to address it,” he said.

“And programmatic is the biggest problem of all… because programmatic advertising simply, for most of our clients, isn’t working. How do we know that? It’s because we do an awful lot of ROI analytics work and we very rarely ever see programmatic producing a positive return on investment. It can happen, we do see it happening, but for the majority of our clients, it doesn’t, and that is a real problem.”

The way to address this issue is to go back to basics : 
Q 1. Is the medium audited by a recognised industry body?
Q 2. Can you pre check what you are buying ?
Q 3. Who is buying the impressions...a robot or a human?
Q4. What audience guarantees are in place and how do make up audience shortfalls?

If these basics of media are not in place then you are compounding the ongoing issues inherent in Programmatic buying.

If your media policy, media strategy, media planning , media buying and media audit are not up to speed, Media Futures recommends you seek out an independent media specialist.
By Greg Allardice 14 Mar, 2017
Automation across all forms of media is increasing. How much is enough? Automation is on the rise but none more so than the use of Bots. What are Bots? A bot is software that is designed to automate the kinds of tasks you would usually do on your own, like making a dinner reservation, adding an appointment to your calendar or fetching and displaying information. The increasingly common form of bots, chatbots, simulate conversation. They often live inside messaging apps — or are at least designed to look that way — and it should feel like you’re chatting back and forth as you would with a human. Chatbots already exist in many of the places where you communicate, primarily messaging apps, which lend themselves to a conversational interface. There are bots in Slack, the business-focused messaging service, many of which aim to help with work-related tasks like expenses or to-do lists.

However how much is enough? Customers want quick answers and generally if a customer phones or contacts a company or service provider and has to speak to a Bot that is definitely a non human, the experience can go downhill fast. Language issues, translations, accents and individuality is something Bots don't know about because they are a non human entity. Have you noticed that selected companies and service providers clearly state your enquiry will be answered by a human and no more than 3 rings? These organisations will win every time over a computer voice that frankly is there to save money. Why employ humans? Try it for yourself and see which one works best.

To be fair Bots have a place when a transactional process is taking place like booking an airline ticket or ordering take away food. But in the real world the human to human interaction will always win.

If your media policy, media strategy, media planning and media buying have not addressed Bots and if they are suitable in your media programmes, Media Futures recommends you seek out an independent media specialist. Media Futures presents industry related articles in the quest to continually improve media practices. 
By Greg Allardice 08 Mar, 2017
With consumers using mutiples of digital devices and platforms, keeping track of your exposure has become a lengthy process. Marketers and advertisers want to know  " how many, who are they, did they connect and ultimately buy their product or service".  Individual medium figures are only part of the big picture such as website, mobile, tablet etc.
From the advertisers point of view, which device or platform actually works is critical, is my money being wasted and how flexible can I be to get on to the best medium to maximise my return. And I want it now. First party data measuring across browsers, publishers, devices and channels is a must have system if you are to truly know what's going on. Effectively, this means that advertisers can monitor, in real-time, how consumers use mobile to interact with brands, which cookie-based ads currently cannot provide.

This is now a reality with Atlas measurement on Facebook. The next step is taking it across all digital publishers, web sites and apps and make sure the ability to read the habits of real people can be provided.    

Many digital media buys are currently based on impacts and uniques but simply don't drill down to the response or purchase levels. This is hit and miss media and a virtual waste of money. The other issue is.... who is interacting, is it a robot or a real human. 

Cross platform measurements over multiple devices should be a part of your media policy, media strategy, media planning and media buying. Media Futures presents industry articles in the constant pursuit of maximising return on media investment. If you need to know more seek out an independent media professional.
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Media Futures considers the total business
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Media Futures considers the total business environment in which you operate, not just media in isolation. Media is critical to the message, but is not the stand alone element. Media needs to be linked to your marketing, business and growth plans.
Greg Allardice


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