I was initially planning to write about big data this month and how advertisers benefit from accessing more data to target users more accurately. On the one hand, it is a benefit since it provides users with a better experience i.e. I am shown ads that are relevant to my interests, but on the other hand it can also become a pain as it’s going into users’ most personal information e.g. Facebook Graph (read Mumbrella article here) to the point that even the FBI has requested access to use it (read Venture beat article here) which is really a thesis subject in itself – I think.
So, instead I would like to look at how digital and the use of data has changed the advertising industry to the point that two iconic competitors decided to merge. All the more that this is still relevant to the above non developed subject…
The weight of digital in the overall advertising industry raised in the last 10 years has it revealed to be the only stream capable to track and measure return on investment accurately across all channels (Social, EDM, Display ads, Paid Ads) vs. traditional ATL (TV, radio, Outdoor) which is still used but with the only
hope goal to increase Brand Awareness rather than Performance i.e sales – ultimately what all companies are looking for to survive and continue to develop.
Now, the reason why such big mammoths of the advertising industry are merging is because they need to shift their model and start a huge investment on data technologies & analysis talents to survive. Creative and media buying are not enough to retain advertisers, data has become the third core elements to be successful in this industry and as Google & Accenture are developing new approaches to reach and re-target the end-user, they now represent a major thread.
Next episode should reveal whether this merge is an antitrust violation or not.