The growing diversity of media solutions and technology platforms provides opportunities for marketers to innovate beyond familiar conventions. To help brands navigate, Razorfish provides an in-depth analysis of emerging trends in media, technology and creativity in its annual Razorfish Outlook Report, published today.
“Building an agency that fires on all cylinders — high levels of innovation, efficiency and technology — is a tremendous challenge,” said Bob Lord, Chief Executive Officer of Razorfish. “One way we’ve been able to accomplish this is by investing heavily in thought leadership.”
The first chapter of the Razorfish Outlook Report provides analysis of proprietary data detailing where and why Razorfish distributed its media billings, which grew an estimated 25% in 2011. Over the past 10 volumes of the report, this data has proven to be a bellwether for the industry at large.
“This year’s study established that media has moved into more of a five channel game – a significant change from years past when display and search were the major players,” said Jeff Lanctot, Chief Media Officer at Razorfish.
The chapter also revealed implications for brands’ future media choices, including:
- Ad exchanges are quickly becoming an industry standard. The channel has several advantages such as superior targeting and outstanding ROI
- No more uncertainty around paid social media ads. Facebook, having jumped from a top 200 partner in 2008 to one of Razorfish’s top five in 2011, has demonstrated that paid media on social networks is helping brands meet their business.
- Mobile continues to make extensive gains. Media spend for mobile has nearly doubled in the last year alone. This growth is due to the explosion of tablet adoption, increases in m-commerce and the phenomenon of the “always-on” phone.
In addition to the annual media analysis, the Razorfish Outlook Report includes several editorials that provide actionable insight on topics ranging from game mechanics to cloud computing to a study Razorfish co-sponsored with Yahoo! on consumer multitasking behavior.
In this chapter, Razorfish sister agency Denuo breaks down the idea of “gamification” –applying gaming principles and mechanics to non-gaming applications – and its profound effect on marketing. The report provides insights on the five key factors of gamification (challenge, recognition, tracking, competition and cooperation) and the very real human benefits they provide.
“Game mechanics can be found in everything we do as human beings, from education to careers to relationships,” said Dan Buczaczer, Denuo’s Managing Director. “With the right guidance, marketers can impact their brands by creating authentic, fun, and challenging experiences that reward people just like games do.”
In the social cloud chapter, Razorfish Chief Technology Officer Ray Velez shares valuable thinking on the three core areas that make up social APIs (authentication, conversion and sharing, and social graph).
Velez writes that from March 2010 to March 2011, visits to Facebook increased 69%, while overall web traffic was down 9%.
“This dichotomy proves the importance for brands to take the conversation to where the consumers already are,” says Velez. “They can do this by utilizing social cloud services to connect their web content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other communities.”
The proprietary study conducted by Yahoo! and Razorfish reveals the largely untapped potential of “media multitasking.” Because advertisers have over-focused on mobile as a stand-alone medium, opportunities abound for brands that learn to embrace simultaneous cross-channel planning.
The findings include
– Nearly 80% of respondents multitask on their mobile device while watching TV at home. In fact, 15% of that group will stay on their device for the duration of the show.
– 38% of respondents are actively searching for more information about the products they are seeing on TV. Clearly, this is an opportunity for advertisers to more closely align their television advertisers to their mobile offerings.
“This study reveals countless prospects for brands in the mobile and tablet market, by recognizing this emerging consumer behavior of ‘media multi-tasking’ and putting it to work for them by creating true cross-screen campaigns,” said Edwin Wong, Director of Market Research, Yahoo! “We are pleased to be able to partner with Razorfish to provide this kind of valuable insight to the marketplace.”
Most brands have several agencies working to meet the needs of the always-on consumer, and any disconnect between the agencies can create problems for the brand.
“Coordination between agencies is not enough. You need to aggressively move toward collaboration for the brand to be the most successful,” said Frederic Bonn, Executive Creative Director at Razorfish.
Bonn, along with Pete Stein, President of the East Region at Razorfish, identified the five major barriers to agency collaboration, and best practices brands can put into place to avoid them.
“Setting up clear processes, demanding creative collaboration and planning for the unplanned creates a solid foundation that will go a long way in ensuring your agencies produce exceptional creative experiences for your brand,” said Bonn.
This year’s Razorfish Outlook Report can be viewed in online at razorfishoutlook.razorfish.com. Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #orv10.