Last week’s glamorous Emmy awards saw The Game of Thrones sweeping the boards with no less than 11 wins. Commentators have had a lot to say about the overwhelming success of newer streamed services versus traditional blockbuster dramas such as the popular Downton Abbey.
This week also sees the 60th anniversary of TV advertising with an outpouring of nostalgia as we are encouraged to remember our favourites; interestingly media experts seem to be preoccupied with celebrating the good old days whilst predicting a less rosy future as spend moves to the social scene.
An interesting article in Marketing Week by Mindi Chahal examines the facts and reminds us that contrary to popular myths, there's a lot of life in television as an advertising channel yet.
Imagine TV ads were invented in 2014 by a young media planner who suddenly realised that you could insert several short promotional films into TV programming to market a variety of branded products and services. Rather than the old girl on the block, imagine how TV would be viewed versus the more traditional social media options like Facebook and Twitter if we’d only just discovered it. Compared to Instagram and LinkedIn with population reach at around 9%, and the revered Facebook achieving 43%, what on earth would media planners make of this new channel offering 94% reach of population?
The average viewer watches an astonishing 3.75 hours of television each day; unexpectedly 15-24 year olds spending 41% of their viewing time on this 'new channel'.
This week also saw the opening of the splendid Birmingham Station featuring the biggest John Lewis store outside of London. Andy Street, CEO explained that new sophisticated shopping experiences were essential for the future success of retail; this may surprise those who are conditioned into thinking that we just don't need physical stores in a digital age.
Predicting the future is notoriously difficult, we can all think of well publicised certainties that have yet to find the light of day; by now we should all be working hardly any hours, and have robots helping us with the housework (if only!).
I'm always struck by how some board members in organisations I speak to are puzzled as to why they still need to talk to customers over the phone; surely by now we should all be doing everything seamlessly by ourselves.
If only all customers would behave exactly like the focus groups say they will; if only we would stop being vulnerable and needy at inconvenient times for organisations. If only our wifi was as fast as some European neighbours (our ambition for 2020 is less than the current actual) and spread equally throughout the land; if only mobile reception was the same as Kevin Bacon seems to experience in his adventures with 4G. If only we didn't need to remember so many pins; the undoubted source of so much anger, stress and ultimately futile calls to sort things out. If only we didn't have to read the 16 digit card number again ... and again.
Until this perfect world emerges, we have to accept a mixed model of navigating around services. In other words customers will choose how to connect and what services they need according to their situation, not your digital strategy. Getting into step with this is a continuous process not a one and done. Above all beware of prophets bearing false predictions, if it's too good to be true - it probably is.
CCA has been working with our Industry Council (which collectively represents around 25% of industry in one group) to produce some new, future scenarios of what service might look like in 2020. Rather than being very futuristic, the group have taken a common sense approach but with an eye to changing consumer behaviours, changing organisational behaviours and an element of risk which comes with future predictions. These will be launched at CCA Convention on 24 & 25 November