R/GA global CEO + chairman Bob Greenberg: Advertising to see massive disruptions in 2014

012_bob_greenberg.jpgR/GA founder, CEO and chairman Bob Greenberg believes there are five ways the industry will be disrupted in 2014.

1) Clients: New business models - The advertising industry will be massively disrupted by clients moving away from horizontal integration to embrace new business models that do not rely on the same amounts of mass advertising to drive growth. Instead, growth will be driven through a new form of innovation that is unique to the digital age (see #2 below) and relies on an entirely new set of marketing channels to drive awareness and purchase. However, in this new business model the purchase is just the beginning that connects consumers to an "ecosystem of value" and spurs further purchases, as Apple, Google and Amazon have all done with their ecosystems: get the same consumer to buy more things from the same brand.
2) Connected devices and the Internet of Things - Many of these new business models for clients will be based upon the integration of physical products with digital services. The marketing of them will be "built in" to the device itself, as was the case with Nike+ Fuelband. Most consumers became aware of Fuelband through social sharing of data. Devices that collect data and share them through digital services will transform everyday life as well as the entire marketing industry.

In 2013, R/GA launched an Accelerator at our New York headquarters in partnership with TechStars to invest in 10 startup companies in the connected devices spaces, exposing our clients to early-stage technology that can help drive their business growth. We will help the startups with everything from business strategy to design to technology to marketing and branding, while also gaining an ownership stake in each one.

3) Agencies as business transformation consultants - Agencies will transform into broad ranging companies that provide business transformation consulting, product innovation, technology innovation (development of digital services for brands), brand development and a myriad of production capabilities. The "agency" part of these new companies will just be a piece of the whole, not the entire business.

Note that this trend is happening at the very same time when two of the largest holding companies have announced a merger to create an even larger holding company with the same exact kinds of assets. The merger just makes what already exists much bigger, rather than bringing new capabilities to the table. The distraction of this merger will create opportunities for new kinds of partners to gain traction with major clients.

4) Big Data = Earned data - Clients will increasingly "own" the data about their consumers, rather than relying upon third party, paid sources. They will "earn" the data from their consumers by providing digital services that deliver tremendous value by becoming personalised partners to consumers in everything from their finances to their health/fitness to what they cook for dinner at night to where they go on vacation to what clothes they wear, what make-up they use.

In fact, the marketing world will soon be divided between those companies who have made investments in digital platforms in order to reap earned data, and those that have not. The ones earning the data will use this to inform everything from product development strategies to CRM programs to one-to-one marketing approaches that deliver relevant, actionable messages to consumers -- again, at a massive cost savings relative to shotgun mass media approaches.

5) Sustainability and the future of business growth - Brands will need to tackle the sustainability issue head-on and demonstrate how they can continue to grow and innovate without contributing to climate change and natural resource depletion. Millennial consumers will simply stop doing business with brands that are not demonstrably "green."

As mentioned in #1 above, digital innovation will be at the core of these efforts to enable consumers to get greater value from the things they purchase, with less environmental impact.


Adam Wells said:

What Bob said.. he's the man.

Get the fuck out of my life. said:

I don't want the purchase of something to be the "just the beginning".

Sometimes I just want to buy a cold drink. Or a pair of shoes. That's it. End of relationship.

Stop trying to be my friend. Stop trying to weasel your way into my life, because we all know the only reason you want to be my friend is to get something from me.

I sure as fuck don't want you to be my "personalised partner in everything from my finances, to my health and fitness and what I'm having for dinner".

Fuck off.

We are not friends. We are not even acquaintances. You're just some kind of creepy stalker. I don't care that you think the data you have means your intrusions into my life are "relevant". They're still just intrusions.

Stop trying to be more than what you are, a supplier of goods and services.

Yes Please said:

I love you, "Get the fuck out of my life."

This article is a giant joke.

I don't remember actually giving money to Google, even though I use their products. So of course I use a lot of their products. Cause I get them for free.

People forget the most talked about ads most of the time are TV spots people see while watching an event together... Like the Super Bowl....

Yes there will be a digital component to that and that's cool but yes after I've seen your hopefully entertaining ad, I would like you to fuck off.

I watched an NFL playoff game live while on reddit.com/r/nfl when Old Spice's Mom Song debuted. Everyone talked about it. New age word of mouth.

No one talked about how they could not wait to go download an app to measure how many times they would spray after farting or what not.

Sometimes this digital advertising b.s gets so far up its on ass.

Amen said:

Well said. And digital visionaries have been predicting the imminent demise of the 'traditional' ad agency for the last 5 years. It's getting a bit repetitive - and embarrassing. At least Mr. Greenberg has the guts to put an actual time frame to his predictions.

Account Circus said:

@ Get the fuck out of my life


RG/F said:

Ok. So I went to reddit for the first time today. Is that progress or just like reading emails? Has the internet moved the ad dial for creativity? Not a jittery jot. Stop bothering us with your digi future, 'cause your predictions are just predictions.

Ba bup ba bup said:

I agree with 'Get the fuck out of my life'.

However, there is a paradox with this issue.

If that company weaseling their way into your life provides something useful, let's say for example, the iPhone, you're happy to part with personal information about every location you visit, photos you take etc.

Facebook and Gmail are two other examples.

But if that company provides something useless, say like Fuelband, well, while the agency might get a load of silverware from it, but Jo Public doesn't give two shits.


All the dinosaurs of advertising above ^^ said:

Have no future, these comments just show how far out of touch with the reality of the world around you. Stick your head outside your advertising agency sometime, have a look around, you might learn something and actually do something interesting..

In fact, ignore that, carry on as you were, makes it much easier for the rest of us. Muppets.

Curb Your Enthusiasm said:

He still looks like Larry David.

Dinosaur said:

@All the dinosaurs of advertising above ^^

I would LOVE to hear what you have to teach us on this subject. Now go build a branded app for toilet paper that tracks how many dumps you have a week that nobody gives a shit about.

Yes, shit, toilet paper, lolz.

The rest of us muppets said:

(In John Cleese voice) He's American.

Done interesting more times than you've done boring said:

'Digital is the way of the future'...

No, digital is a media. Ideas will always win, sadly, you probably lack them in spades. Good luck, 'All the dinosaurs of advertising above ^^'

Ben said:

@All the dinosaurs - if you still have a career in advertising in a few years time you'll see that they're not muppets, merely people who've spent plenty of time looking around.

And they've seen people haven't changed.

Their viewing devices might have, technology sure has shit has, but we still put on pants the same way, shit the same way and shop for the same food.

We don''t have flying cars, we still listen to the radio and we sure as shit still watch TV.

The sooner you realise that, the sooner you might make a career in advertising, specialising in the digital MEDIUM.

Larry David On TV said:


If you look at any 'Top Ten Most Viral or Digital Campaigns' lists out there,

most of that list will be made up of just really amazing TV spots uploaded to YouTube.

Just saying....

Story telling is king baby

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