Get integrated or fail in 2015: Jowett

After a year of digital transformation in 2014, David Jowett, president of Cossette Media, says investment in mobile, testing and analytics are key to success next year.

As one year closes and another one begins to rev up, MiC is asking industry leaders to look back on the events that changed their business in 2014 and predict the trends that will shape it in 2015. Next up is David Jowett, president of Cossette Media.

What 2014 event or trend had the biggest impact on your business?

The number one trend globally and in Canada is the speed of consumer adoption of digital. Canadian consumers have adopted digital technology faster than almost all mature economies. Canadians conduct 3.8 billion searches per month (#1 globally and 26% higher than the US). We also spend the most time globally on Facebook and YouTube, and we have 80% broadband penetration (#2 globally).

This digitization of our consumers utterly transforms the media business. It accelerates media’s ability to directly drive our clients’ business. Yes, we still buy vast numbers of spots and dots, but increasingly with laser-guided targeting and measurable results.

What buzzword should stay in 2014?

None – buzzwords should be banned from life generally. Media has always enjoyed making our craft impenetrable for clients with acronyms and buzzword lingo. We need more plain speaking English and French please!

How has your team changed the most in the past year?

Digital transformation. With our Digital You program, we have worked very hard to support all our employees to learn and adopt the digital and technology landscape in order to apply it to our solutions for clients. This immersion has included everything from Google Certification training for all employees through to fun one-day coding camps.

What are the top three things those in the Canadian media business need to be paying attention to as we head into 2015?

Mobile: Our consumers are mobile first, so must we be.

Test, fail fast, evolve: It may feel like our media ecosystem is utterly disrupted, but this is just the beginning. Every media agency has to behave like a startup business. Change will come every week and you either embrace it, or you get run over by it.

Analytics: Media is moving quickly up the value chain as we increasingly “prove” that the results of our work drive our clients’ business. Ongoing investment into sophisticated and robust data analytics, talent and models are the key to support this.

What is your prediction for the trend that will shape the media business in 2015?

Integration, or “horizontality” as Sir Martin Sorrell calls it, will be critical for marketing services businesses to help our clients drive their business. The consumer’s media behaviours are utterly interconnected by technology. In response, agencies of all disciplines have to collaborate and interconnect our solutions, otherwise we fail our clients.