The advertising landscape has seen some pretty big moves in 2013. Mergers, acquisitions, shops closing up shop, and the agency/client relationship seeing better days.
And it seems that 2013 was only the beginning. So how will 2014 start?
Agencies continue to fight for big client relevancy
Earlier this month Unilever announced that it is cutting 800 marketing positions and slimming down its agency roster. As markets continue to saturate, executives will look for other ways to boost their bottom lines. Unfortunately, the people steering these big organizations lack the creativity and the guts to expand market bases, create new products, or jump in new markets. No, the easiest way to grow the base and please stockholders is cutting costs. And when it comes to cost-cutting, marketers and agencies will continue to be the first ones on the chopping block.
Mobile becomes Mandatory
We will see more and more brands create marketing strategies built solely for mobile platforms. As people become busier and busier, stagnant mediums will become less relevant. Also, in many emerging markets, the only way many of those consumers have access to technology is through having smartphones.
Less Dependence on U.S. Market
The last statistic we saw was that in China alone, there are 300 million people in its "middle class," with 1.1 million millionaires. Japan has 1.5 millionaires. Though the U.S. still has the most millionaires, it is clear that other markets have bigger middle classes and have less saturation than the U.S. Less saturation means more room for growth, and more bang for one's buck; the resources brands will have to use in China or Brazil will reap more gain than those same resources in the United States. Already, we have seen WPP, Publicis-Omnicom, and Havas announce aggressive plans for growth in China, India, Brazil, Thailand, and others.
2014 will be an interesting year. And let's hope that's a good thing.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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