Reinventing Marketing
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Duncan Southgate

Duncan Southgate


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Trendsetters: Millward Brown's Duncan Southgate Shares How 2015 will be a Year for Marketers to "Get Media Right"

For the past seven years, Millward Brown's teams throughout the world have provided annual forecasts of digital and media trends, along with recommendations for marketers as they approach the challenges and opportunities of the next 12 months. The 2015 predictions suggest a number of ways in which marketers can "get media right." In fact, Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director for Digital at Millward Brown, sees a pivotal trend in the evolution of programmatic media as it becomes more central to the entire marketing process to include both creative and brand-building viability. This marks a major change from the cost-saving focus that dominated discussions in 2014.

According to Southgate, programmatic is moving beyond "a niche or an emerging trend" to a process that could ultimately be a "silo breaker" as marketers shift to re-think contemporary communications and to re-structure their organizations accordingly. "To date, the debate around programmatic media has been firmly centered on the ‘how' of operations and behavioral metrics such as cost per click," he says. "In 2015 we expect marketers to be equally focused on the benefits programmatic may be able to bring to building meaningful brands and the opportunities to leverage it more creatively."

Millward Brown anticipates that programmatic advertising will evolve by merging engaging creative elements with existing media buying algorithms. This will encourage marketers to challenge their creative and media agencies to work together to leverage the latest consumer insights to fully understand the touch points of each target and to deliver impactful messaging through highly adaptive, real-time advertising. As background algorithms become more sophisticated, the appearance of the creative will evolve to enhance the viewer experience with more variables and executions.

Ultimately, programmatic creative will become more human, seamless, efficient, and easy to digest, and 2015 will bring the onset of this evolution. New skill sets will also need to develop beyond specialized silos to encourage cross-functional talents that include a mix of creative, media, technology and research.

Other trends include:

  • SECOND SCREEN SYNCING BRINGS GREATER MULTISCREEN CONTROL. New second screen sync technologies offer great potential to amplify TV spending… or to hijack that of competitors.
  • BREAKING DOWN SOCIAL AND MOBILE SILOS. The fragmented and competitive social and mobile landscape drives advertising innovation, but also brings inefficiencies and challenges.
  • NOT JUST BIG – INTELLIGENT. In 2015, marketing will experience a mind shift in focus from "big" data to streamlined "intelligent" data.
  • PAID ADVERTISING PROPELS MICRO-VIDEO INTO THE MAINSTREAM. Micro-video platforms provide smart paid marketing opportunities, but only brands who know, learn, and love those platforms will succeed.
  • MARKETERS GET SAVVIER ABOUT MULTI-GENERATIONAL MULTISCREEN MARKETING. Optimize across devices by aligning branding objectives with learning about how screen usage varies by generation and contextual task.
  • PROGRAMMATIC INCREASINGLY CONTEMPLATES BRAND. Marketers will question whether programmatic optimization is damaging or enhancing brand building. They will use new methodologies to conduct brand effectiveness evaluations of programmatic campaigns
  • CONSUMER-FOCUSED LOCATION-BASED MARKETING BLOOMS. Location-based marketing opportunities are powerful when brands focus on consumers' interests rather than on their own.
  • NATIVE ADVERTISING MORE OFTEN GETS IT RIGHT – BUT CHOOSE WISELY. The key for advertisers will be to partner with the best publishers, and the key for publishers will be to follow the native golden rules – confidently identify native ads as sponsored content, match the site's editorial tone, and create content that resonates with the audience.
  • ANALOG GOES DIGITAL. Brands must leverage mobile-enabled connectivity coherently through every aspect of their marketing programs.

Duncan Southgate has 20 years of brand, communications and media research experience and has been involved in digital marketing research since 1997. He is currently responsible for growing Millward Brown's digital and mobile business.

Millward Brown, with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion, is a leading global research agency specializing in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and brand equity research. Specialist global practices include Millward Brown Digital (a leader in digital effectiveness and intelligence), Firefly Millward Brown (a global qualitative network), a neuroscience practice (using neuroscience to optimize the value of traditional research techniques), and Millward Brown Vermeer (a strategy consultancy helping companies maximize financial returns on brand and marketing investments). Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of Kantar, WPP's data investment management division.