Jeremy Sice – ‘The AdTech Wars Are Raging’
The advertising industry is rapidly changing with the improvements to technologies and their deployment across mass markets. The mobile revolution – 2013 was the first year in which more user time was spent on mobiles rather than television, has driven increases in advertisement revenue of up to 76% on the previous year for Facebook. Total global advertising revenues in the same year were recorded at $19.3billion – double that of 2012 and a trend that was further exhibited in 2014. The new opportunities in the sector have led to huge shifts in the way that advertising is conducted and managed.
Jeremy Sice has worked in the industry throughout his illustrious career. He has vast experience in branding as well as advertisement management, and he spoke to EntrepreneurCountry Global about the changes to the sector and what drives successful advertising.
Tell us a little bit about your background and working life?
From the early hard knock, brilliant grounding, of media selling at Haymarket Publishing I moved on to spend 4 years at the international renowned design business the Michael Peters Group.
By the late 1980s I started getting itchy feet and left with two partners to found SAS, a brand and communications Agency. We grew to over 120 people, working with the likes of BT, Sainsbury's, GSK, Mars and many more, over many years. As CEO I led us through the M&A process that took us in to the market leading Publicis Groupe. I stayed with the Groupe for 7 further years and progressed to be the CEO of MSLGROUP London, where I integrated Agencies and navigated the ship on an interesting journey. I left at the back end of last year, as in my heart I knew I wanted to use my experience to the full and get back to my entrepreneurial roots.
What value do Communication Agencies, in the broadest sense, provide their clients?
A good Agency, doing the right things, can help differentiate a brand, build/defend a reputation, create a magnetic attraction, support loyalty and a build a halo effect.
What part does technology now play in placing adverts?
Ad technology has always played a huge part in placing adverts online, from the early days of pay-per-click, to more recent developments which have now changed the landscape forever.
Online advertising gives near unlimited opportunities to reach people online. The challenge is how to go about pinpointing the right people with the right advert. Advertising technology allows advertising to be bought in ways that couples advertising reach with precise targeting. Display and social ads can now be bought in ways that not only let you extend your reach, but also to be precise in your targeting to ensure you aren't dragged down by the lack of attention. The ad-technology wars are raging, with more suppliers entering the market on a monthly basis. Judicious use of technology allows navigation of the whole digital marketplace – using real-time bidding (RTB) to match advertising inventory to audiences, targeting with pinpoint precision, behaviourally and contextually - increasing efficiency, increasing effectiveness.
Ultimately continual advancement in ad technology is essential to continue to enable marketers to increase efficiency and effectiveness in placing adverts, to interpret data and keep getting the right ads delivered to the "right" people.
In your role for MSLGROUP, how did you find that brands are most effectively promoted?
The media landscape is unrecognisable these days. Technology has changed everything. For many a year brands were built through a straightforward broadcast push approach that predominantly used a mix of advertising and PR. These days call for a much more sophisticated approach that utilizes a blend of media to pull audiences to a brand - it's not about promotion, it's about building advocacy.
In my view the key is to utilise the unique properties technology presents to get closer to and interact with customers, consumers and stakeholders. From crowd sourcing of ideas, to creating interest groups, to fostering loyal communities and customer groups. There's never been more opportunities for brands to build their businesses in a controlled, smart and managed risk way.
How will brand communication and advertising change in the future?
I believe that once the latest gold-rush of social media and the trend of content cools, businesses will start to get wise and turn the communication world on its head. In advising a client today I'd say keep your hand in your pocket and switch at least 50% of the money you currently spend away from Marketing/Comms and invest in getting your business and importantly your people right first. Take EE for example. They spend a fortune getting Kevin Bacon to promote their brand, but in my experience the network rarely works. So what's the point in spending more and more trying to draw in consumers, only for them to be continually disaffected?
The buzz phrase these days is 'manage your reputation'. I have a different view. The future is all about spending more time getting your business or product right first and then your reputation follows.
How can brands/businesses keep up with these trends to innovate in the sector?
Either employ someone internally whose job it is to look out and continually search for innovations or look to the Agencies you employ. A good Agency should provide a client with a constant stream of thoughts, insights and inspiration from the big wide world out there. The key thing to remember is change is a given and its critical to keep looking up and out.
To learn more about the AdTech sector, come to the EntrepreneurCountry Forum on February 3rd at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Buy your tickets here!
Learn more about Jeremy's work by visiting his LinkedIn profile.