Sonder | Smoke Signals for 2020
Predictions for owned media asset leverage in 2020
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Smoke Signals for 2020

Smoke Signals for 2020

Many towns and cities in Australia are facing a Christmas shrouded in thick smoke, or worse, from raging bushfires. While the overworked volunteer Rural Firefighters are putting out deadly real fires, retailers have been putting out their own fires in 2019.

It’s safe to say it’s been a year many retailers would like to forget. According to Commsec, at one point we saw the weakest consumer spending in 28 years. Attending a retail industry event mid-way through the year punctuated the gloomy sentiment – the industry’s luminaries were unanimous: things are tough.

To avoid being burnt in 2020, retailers must take an even more proactive approach to connecting with shoppers. Here are 5 signals of what we’re likely to see in 2020 in relation to owned media:

1. Data is better with owned media

In owned media channels, we’re seeing targeting solutions that are often more advanced than the paid media industry. These solutions are being deployed to improve the customer experience, drive sales for partner brands and deliver high margin revenue to the business. With data privacy regulations upon us, the digital owned media ecosystem is going to be more important and powerful than ever.

2. Know your worth

In 2020, the value of owned media is going to be more widely recognised, shared and charged by retailers. We estimate the total market value of owned media in Australia at $96 billion. Yet nine out of ten businesses don’t know the value of their own media assets. Owned media value is more than just a form of corporate self-awareness. As Brad Banducci, CEO of Woolworths Group says “Retailers are the new media owners”. Time for retailers to start behaving more like media owners. 

3. Email renaissance

Tennyson once wrote that “authority forgets the dying king”. Content may still be king, but is its authority (or influence) what it once was? According to some studies, content is not as influential as it used to be. How brands deliver content is changing too. Whilst podcasts are de rigueur, we’re seeing a shift in focus back to the humble email newsletter. Your email program allows you to demonstrate expertise, relevance and authority to an audience who have asked for it – don’t squander your email. 

4. Growth in new media channels

Digital screen networks are enabling retailers to create powerful shopper experiences and provide partner brands with the ability to connect at the point of purchase. Soon we’ll see AI, interactivity, mobile integration and plenty more delivered through screens. Custom magazines are an old/new channel that are filling the void left by traditional publishers. The two biggest magazines in Australia are owned by Woolworths and Coles. In 2020, custom publishing is a white space area for brands to consider. 

5. Technology that removes (not creates) complexity

Owned media leverage is lucrative, but it’s a complex challenge for many businesses because it is not core to what they do. Which is where technology can help. There are a number of tech platforms that monetise digital owned media, but there are also media management systems that take the pain away from managing media rates, inventory, plans and analytics. Identifying and selecting the right solutions is crucial to an effective owned media ecosystem.  

Owned media in 2020 will play an increasingly important role for businesses that seek to connect with customers and extract maximum value from their assets. For more information, or to explore owned media for your business, we’re here to help.