Jay R. Grant is Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary for Univision Communications Inc., a Spanish language media company. Grant also serves as the legal department representative to the Office of the Chief Executive Officer in New York.
TREND 1: Platforms that best track and monetize content engagement and target users with advertising, while generating quantifiable return on investment (ROI) and consumer usage data, will thrive.
Technology increases the expected return on engagement. Dominating platforms quantify the ROI of advertising dollars based on purchases and length of consumer engagement with client-products (e.g., Facebook, Google and addressable, interactive advertising). The ability to mine usage data and determine purchase patterns is expected. Further, entities transforming data into knowledge are market leaders because their work-product is actionable media currency. Platforms evolving from recommendation-engines to serendipity-engines, which analyze data patterns and deliver anticipatory consumer experiences, reign supreme.
Platforms Lesson: Accordingly, advisors applying ROI, data-driven metrics will be best positioned to service leading clients. Advisors that use electronic billing to reduce inefficient patterns and to analyze the most frequent client-need-patterns will also be favored. These advisors should also turn raw mined-data into enhanced client experiences and provide anticipatory advice (as the serendipity-engines of counsel).
TREND 2: Companies offering marketing and branding solutions rule if consumer engagement is a premium.
Leading the pack are advertisers and marketers that pierce the clutter to target consumers. Broadcast and cable giants can also get ahead by achieving brand category solutions for advertising clients, not relying solely on agency solutions. Accordingly, televised, organic product integration and dynamic advertising in sponsored content — from novelas (Univision’s General Motors plot integration in #1 ranked Eva Luna) to American idol (ubiquitous Coca Cola presence) — are continuously expanding.
Solutions Lesson: Similarly, solution-oriented advisors will flourish as preferred partner-advisors. Solutions are not theoretical strategies, but are actionable insights that clients can implement into their businesses immediately. For example, legal advice without actionable insight is arcane. Instead, legal advisors must demonstrate how the law will create solutions and quantify the probability of successful outcome. Give actionable recommendations in solutions, as opposed to merely conveying general wisdom.
TREND 3: Companies that curate access to consumers command a premium in a crowded media-field.
Information is ubiquitous and can be overwhelming: RSS-feeds, Flipboard and electronic homepages curate content into functional and digestible infotainment. Media entities that best curate content will own the market. Steven Rosenbaum explores this in Curation Nation.
Curate Lesson: Clients are busy, and clutter drowns everyone. The best advisors alleviate the strain of clutter by building consensus and analyzing only what is essential. Concise advice from relevant input is increasingly critical.
Advisors must continually filter and shape consensus from the myriad of research possibilities into best-in-class advice and analysis — not legal/financial hypothetical surveys.
Bullet points are fundamental tools for curators and executive counselors alike in conveying:
- conviction in advice,
- clarity in thought,
- respect for the client’s limited time-resource,
- respect for the client’s intellectual capacity, and
TREND 4: Companies verifying engagement and use define the new media currency.
The proof is not in the pudding. The proof actually exists when the pudding is purchased because it was advertised or associated with your media solution. Proof is no longer merely verification that the advertisement for pudding was seen. The reality is that click-through rates, instant viewer measurement and proof-of-purchasing ratings points make irrelevant sample rates: The sample size is 100 percent. Exact engagement measurement from entities — not only like Nielsen and Arbitron, but also nimble entrants like TRAnalytics and Simulmedia, and processors of set-top box data — increasingly determine who will lead in media as the units of measurement become smaller and desired results more exacting.
Verification Lesson: Is your advice and counsel implemented? If clients pay lip service to your advice and continue to shop around, or simply choose not to integrate your advice, you have neither engaged nor been of use. At this point, the currency of your counsel is nil. Following up and getting feedback to determine if your advice is effective will separate the successful advisors from the laggards. Did your advice bring to market a better, more efficient solution? Did it enhance top-line revenue or reduce quantifiable risk or loss? Verification of the value of advice, and confirmation that the advice achieved the client’s metrics and goals (not your own), is critical.
As media trends continue to morph, these best practices are predictable.