The new year will see the maturation of data for publishers and with it, a greater focus on creativity.
News Corp Australia’s Pippa Leary says rather than trying to compete with big tech platforms, in 2022 media owners will shift to using niche insights on customers to attract clients.
“Now that ‘big data’ has become commoditised, how do you offer your client that elusive insight that allows them to spark the desire to buy at the top of the funnel, or close the sale at the bottom?" Leary tells AdNews.
“2022 will see media companies understanding where each unique ‘ID’ within their ecosystem is placed in terms of the purchase funnel, and how to effectively share those ‘trigger’ insights with their clients.”
With this focus on data, publishers will also boost creativity to produce content that keeps readers engaged.
“As data targeting is now table stakes, we know that data without great creative and content attached to it, is just dead data,” says Are Media’s Jane Waterhouse.
“Content that makes audiences ‘feel’ something and aligns with their values isn’t new.”
The Brag Media’s Luke Girgis expects to see further consolidation throughout the industry, while Man of Many’s Scott Purcell says building a sense of community will continue to be important for publishers.
Read the full predictions here:
Pippa Leary, News Corp Australia managing director, client product
2022 will be the year data grows up. Instead of trying to compete with the tech platforms for scale, media owners will start using sharper, niche insights to offer their clients and agency partners information that is truly unique. As the NY media “ecologist” Jack Myer writes: “Every agency is looking at the same data pools. But [all are asking] what can we take to our clients that’s unique, that’s differentiated?” Now that “big data” has become commoditised, how do you offer your client that elusive insight that allows them to spark the desire to buy at the top of the funnel, or close the sale at the bottom? 2022 will see media companies understanding where each unique “ID” within their ecosystem is placed in terms of the purchase funnel, and how to effectively share those “trigger” insights with their clients. And even more importantly how to link top of the funnel aspirational content with purchase behaviour at the bottom. Search and last click data has dominated the lower end of the funnel now for a decade, but media companies hold a very special position at the top of the funnel, which until now has not been fully leveraged.
Jane Waterhouse, Are Media general manager, brands and commercial solutions
Key prediction - unexpected wins. As a society and an industry, we now know that business as usual and making plans are pre-covid constructs. The ability for audiences and business to embrace the unexpected as ‘normal’ will allow innovative brands and surprising content solutions to thrive in 2022. As data targeting is now table stakes, we know that data without great creative and content attached to it, is just dead data. Content that makes audiences ‘feel’ something and aligns with their values isn’t new. However it will be amped up as legacy publishing content creators compete against literally millions of creators (14 to 94 year olds) worldwide on TikTok, Snap, Instagram, etc. Unexpected creative that is delivered a) at speed and b) at scale will be a prerequisite. The emergence of AI branded content tech that increases volume and AR and a ‘camera strategy’ will appear in more campaigns. Dare I say it…the other unexpected winner in 2022 will be paper. As QR codes in print close the path to purchase and as paper becomes more expensive, it will hold more value. There are now two generations that have grown up without this powerful and immersive medium. Paper’s surprise and delight can’t be underestimated for Gen Z and Gen Alpha.
Edwina McCann, editorial director of Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ Australia and publisher News Prestige
2021 was a year of unexpected growth and I expect this to continue in 2022, especially under the umbrella of consumer revenue including e-commerce, subscriptions, events and brand-led, content-based-growth revenue. 2022 will see flexibility in terms of how we work and also how we can reach new audiences. We will no doubt see new ways in how we optimise the content lifecycle, including publishers embracing new platforms like TikTok and utilising existing platforms to fuel new audiences
Eleanor Pendleton, Gritty Pretty founder and editor-in-chief
As we emerge out of the blur that has been 2020/21, more brands will turn to social media. During the pandemic, they increasingly relied heavily on influencers to not only connect with consumers but convert online sales and this role will increase significantly in the new year. Business will not be business as usual; we’ll still need to embrace the flexibility and agility that we’ve all brought to the table in 2020/21, especially when it comes to our media partnerships. Long gone are the days of set and forget - publishers and advertisers need to ensure they plan for continuous change especially as we are challenged by supply chain delays. We will reassure our clients that no plan is set in stone, and there is always an option B, or indeed C, D, or E (our production agency – Gritty Pretty Productions – adopted this approach expertly)! This will require open, honest, and frequent discussions with media partners - tackling the difficult conversations as soon as they arise and having the bravery to move beyond the traditional boundaries that media historically operated in. And, while murmurs of Omicron circulate, in 2022 travel will become currency. As vaccine boosters are rolled out, getting on a plane, travelling overseas and posting on TikTok will become the ultimate social brag. Those who are first to travel will be the ones who most get to bathe in the kudos, sharing and posting their travels to the envy of their followers meaning travel will elevate even further in the eyes of consumers. Travel will become the ultimate ‘must have'. Brands that can help maximise, facilitate, and help consumers share their experiences will grow in both favour and popularity.
Scott Purcell, Man of Many co-founder
I think establishing a sense of "community" will be more important than ever for publishers in 2022. This will come in many forms whether it be through more in-person events, exclusive membership benefits for subscribers, a loyal podcast following, Facebook or Discord groups, product collaborations and publisher merch available for purchase for readers, and yes, even virtual events with your community in the metaverse. A strong community builds a sense of belonging and a shared faith that members' needs will be met through a publisher's commitment toward a common cause. In the hunt for eyeballs, establishing a sense of common purpose as well as shared positive experiences for readers will be vital for publishers to have greater impact, influence and cut-through in what is an already overcrowded media landscape.
Luke Girgis, The Brag Media CEO
Last year I predicted consolidation in the publishing industry which we saw with both Vice moving to Pedestrian and Junkee going on the market. Next year will be the calm before the storm. The publishers that survived the pandemic will experience tremendous growth, but talks of a different type of consolidation will begin. That is, consolidation from a position of strength, not weakness like we saw over the last two years. Maybe there will be a rollup in the works. Will these small to mid size publishers with strong growth and profits consolidate and go public? These talks will heat up in 2022.
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