It’s hard to believe 2012 is coming to an end. It was a big year for us here, with the launch of Madison Ave Insights in October, and a notable one for the advertising industry. As always, agencies tried to top the year before with bigger and better creative, regulatory agencies stepped up oversight and enforcement, and technological advances happened at a pace that seemed like every minute. From the Super Bowl to Cannes to the Summer Olympics to the Presidential election, marketers have been busy year-round with how to balance rapid change and new technology with threats from regulators and competitors while doing great creative and effective advertising. This has been a very hard dance to learn.
Among countless others, here are a few key trends and developments from 2012 that will have long-lasting implications for the advertising industry (that is, if the Mayan calendar is incorrect).
Data: Data is without a doubt changing the advertising industry. With more platforms and devices collecting consumer data, including smart phones, tablets, and mobile apps, data has increasingly become a critical tool for marketers and advertising agencies. Of course, we are all still learning the best ways to collect, manage, and use data without violating basic data security and consumer privacy standards. This year, data brokers have faced scrutiny for selling consumers’ data, and brands have been questioned for data collection practices. With data collection and management tools advancing, and data analytics becoming the “it” profession, all of us are eager to see what will be next and how the advertising industry applies and develops data to benefit all of the constituencies – consumers, marketers, agencies, publishers and technologists.