This is a free article from The Annual 2017. As part of the Perspectives Series AdNews asked industry leaders from marketing, media, advertising and tech to reflect on trust. You can now read the series online. Every issue of the monthly magazine has exclusive features, profile interviews and content that isn't usually available online. If you don't subscribe, you're missing out. You can download a digital version of AdNews and subscribe to the premium print edition here.
This year will be remembered as the year when certain segments of the media industry broke the single most important foundation of enduring partnerships – trust.
Questions around the ability of some digital tech platforms to provide accurate measurement and brand safety shook the confidence of marketers around the world, especially in the online space.
A loss of trust in the digital sphere is good for no one. Digital convergence has ensured that, increasingly, all media is digital and the transformation from heritage businesses is well underway. Indeed, the future of the media industry lies in each of us building a business with digital as its core, with the capability to grow long-term, sustainable revenue streams.
The degradation of trust in any part of the supply chain has the potential to undermine the broader ecosystem. And while our politics in 2017 might talk about “post-truth” and “alternative facts” the marketing world must recognise that when it comes to delivering for clients, a loss of confidence by marketers in the long term has the potential to hurt us all: media owners, agencies, marketers and, most importantly, consumers.
In an increasingly complex world most marketers – for all the talk of developing their owned/earned media channels – still rely heavily on content creators who are capable of creating unique, quality Australian content that builds brands, reaches mass audiences and delivers consistent growth through a clear strategic alignment.
The brands outpacing their rivals are the ones being innovative about building meaningful, collaborative media partnerships well aligned with their brand.
My challenge for the industry in 2018 is: Who are you trusting? Are they keen to work with you and get under the hood of your business? To understand your needs and challenges and come up with a unique solution that separates you from the pack?
Do they deliver a valuable partnership that consistently grows your business year after year?
When I think of the partnerships I’m proudest of they are the ones where brands have really let us in – and we have been brave enough to do things we aren’t comfortable with either, because trust is a two-way street. When we have done this, the reward for both parties has been meaningful, without a doubt.
Take the case of Domain, who have been aligned with Nine and The Block for more than three years. There is a clear synergy that comes across naturally on screen, and The Block is a better program and experience for the audience because of the value that Domain brings as a brand.
Interestingly, the campaign was originally built around something we were very nervous about. We needed to give Domain a certain part of our content that we knew would pop – our first ever 360-degree room reveals. We broke our own rules and put the content on the Domain platform, because we trusted their team to deliver a great return and knew that by working together the experience would be superior to something created in isolation.
We were only able to do that because of our relationship with Domain, our understanding of the audience, and our desire to use collaboration to deliver the best customer experience possible for both clients and consumers.
In this complex marketing world, trust, truth and, dare I say, integrity all are connected. They are the cornerstone of everything we do. The challenge for us all in 2018 is how do we build deeper, longer-lasting partnerships.
Lizzie Young is the group content strategy director of Nine Network.
This is part of the Perspectives Series - Reflections on Trust from The Annual 2017.