Each year, The Media Kitchen puts together a document that outlines our vision for the digital marketing world and what we think will change over the next 12 to 18 months. We call this The Menu and I’d like to share the five big top-level trends as well as the startups we see as key players going forward.
A few of these happen to be portfolio companies funded by our venture arm, kbs Ventures; others are startups and platforms that we’ll be using for our agency clients. This is a top-level summary, but if you’d like to go deeper, feel free to click over to Slideshare and read the full presentation, and I’ll be talking more on some of these themes at Ad Age’s Digital Conference in San Francisco on Sept. 20.
Communication across many social platforms will be seamless.
There is no doubt that we are going to see an increasing amount of social platforms launch over the next decade. While we cannot imagine what shape they’ll take, we do know that staying on top of them will be laborious and fraught with operational inefficiencies (long legal wait times, politicking, etc) for brands. We’re starting to see the emergence of technology providers that make it easier to not just maintain and create workflow solutions across these social platforms, but also launch media-driven campaigns.
Three companies that we like in the space: Buddy Media (Salesforce), Adaptly (kbs Ventures portfolio company), and Social Flow.
Location will play an increasingly-important role for targeting.
Media planning and buying have revolved around two basic tenants: audience and media (context). An example here would be reaching females 18-34 with fashion content. With the proliferation of mobile devices including phones and tablets, we are seeing an increasingly amount of digital media inventory tagged with location data (latitude and longitude). With this new data asset, marketers can give the context of location an increased role within the whole media planning and buying process.
Three companies that we like in the space: Local Response, Xtify, and PlaceIQ (kbs Ventures portfolio company).
Cross-platform plans will be driven by data.
One of our clients told us to stop building cruise ships and focus on speedboats. What he meant was to stop focusing on big ideas that take months to plan and are hard to course correct if they turn out wrong. He pushed us towards planning speedboats, essentially microplans for different platforms that could then be optimized in market based on whether or not it was resonating. As we fragment our time with different screens, creating cross platform ideas it extremely important. The data exhaust from multi-platform engagements is voluminous and can become a competitive differentiator if you begin to combine it with CRM databases and other large sets of marketer data.
Three companies we like in the space: Crowdtwist (kbs Ventures portfolio company), Rewind.me (kbs Ventures portfolio company), and Social Chorus.
Content is marketing and marketing is certainly content.
As the industry shifts towards using organic (native) ways of monetizing, content becomes extremely important not just to consumers but to brands. We’re going to see entire plans purely delivering content distribution. At The Media Kitchen, we’ve already gone down that path with making sure each plan has content distribution fundamentals embedded. We do not necessarily believe that you need to create “viral” content, as cute cats and long tounged dogs can only take your brand so far, but you can create relevant content for your target audience that if done correctly and placed in the right situation, can be beneficial for your brand.
Three companies we like in the space: Tumblr, Kaleidoscope, and The Fancy.
Experiences will be linked across many devices.
As devices become smarter, they will become aware of their surroundings and ideally, talk to each other. This will allow content experiences to become multi-dimensional and could really lift engagement numbers for brands. Software creators have the opportunity to drive a connected content experience across multiple devices. For example: a 30-second spot you’re watching on TV could trigger content on your tablet that is related to the spot.
Three companies we like in the space: Shazam, Second Screen Networks, and Xbox.