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MediaCom joins Mediatel for virtual event ‘The Future of Media Trading’

MediaCom UK CEO Kate Rowlinson and UK Chief Digital Officer Richard Davies took part in The Future of Media Trading, a day of virtual panels hosted by MediaTel.

Kicking off the day, Kate took part in the highly anticipated opening debate, discussing the impact of Covid-19 on the trading floor and what the future holds post-lockdown. With a range of panellists from both UK and Global media agencies, viewers heard just how much the response to COVID is differing client to client, and how we as media agencies must be agile in order to cater to differing creative, lead times and budgets.

As we enter the 8th week of lockdown, we are moving from dealing with the immediate crisis to considering the long-term strategic approach to COVID. The shape of the media landscape will undoubtedly change as a result, as will the products and services that our clients offer. But despite the obvious hardship our industry is facing, Kate stressed that in many ways we are seeing more creativity than ever, paying particular homage to the media owner community and the flexibility they are offering if clients are in a position to advertise right now.

This is a time for agency/client trust levels to flourish, and an opportunity to come out stronger. Whilst a lack of face to face contact was initially a challenge, we have seen a new level of connectivity as a new working environment is established – we have all been witness to interruptions from partners, children and pets – creating an intimacy with our clients. And in the future? The talent in our business won’t depend on geography. Our priorities remain the wellbeing of our people and our clients needs, and differing working environments can be utilised to achieve it.

 Later in the day, our Chief Digital Officer, Richard Davies, joined panelists from ITV and Talon Outdoor to consider how traditional media is converging with digital, and what this means from a trading and organisational perspective. Offline and digital worlds are colliding and companies are making changes to accommodate new ways of planning and buying – but where does human responsibility sit?

The current crisis has seen an agile, real time approach to media buying that didn’t exist prior. Ever-expanding programmatic capabilities are allowing us to tweak the dials of a campaign as it is live, but all panelists stressed the importance of clarity when it comes to audiences and how we efficiently buy on behalf of our clients. The industry is rife with discussion on how we evaluate effectiveness across a whole media plan, but Richard stressed we must not stray into a world of standardisation and lose the bespoke responses to our clients’ needs.

“Advertising is a business of culture, and culture is people”. We must not get lost in the world of complex algorithms and forget that people need to remain at the center of our media operations. The industry needs a mix of creativity, science and data – we need both man and machine to succeed.

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