Advertising agencies have always been about ideas. However, the evolution of digital in the past decade has made it all about the outcomes.2014 in my view will see a bridge of ideas and how they lead to outcomes.This means digital agencies will talk about the brand and experiences, and your traditional agencies will talk about measurable outcomes, especially through the online sphere. This blend is now inevitable.So no more “online” videos that don’t garner any views, no more “social” strategy where you have to pay for likes and re-tweets, and no more TVCs without a call to action to an online link.Digital agencies have sprung up and evolved the way they have largely because of the inability of the larger conventional agencies to keep up. However, with the mediums now blending – I see the agency world moving back to basics again next year.This will also mean we will see consolidation in the Indian market with more of the traditional players continuing buying their smaller digital counterparts.This year technology on your conventional screens has truly taken over digital and agency thinking. Search and display advertising continue to dominate the ad spend in this space. However, both IAB Australia and IAMAI India reports from 2013 show most of the growth of ad spend in digital has come in mobile, social and video (online).That means, agencies are now thinking platforms and networks. Mobile and social have (finally!) arrived.The real shift in 2014 will see people starting to stop thinking of digital as a specialized skill. Effectively it is a medium that requires different strategies for multiple channels. Instead of seeing ‘Internet’ in the ad-spend pie chart as a media spend area against TV, print, etc - you will start seeing breakdowns into ‘Mobile’, ‘Social’ and ‘Paid Search & Display’.This is an important shift because successful organisations will start considering campaigns and annual strategies with multi-channel mix that don’t involve outsourcing the “Internet” piece, but taking a real interest in it. This also means involving this media mix in your campaign strategy more actively.What this will also result in is super-niche agencies that look at “Youtube celebrity management”, “Twitter paid media”, etc as specialized skill sets. So you won’t just be a digital agency anymore, but a Youtube, or Twitter, or other agencies.Lastly, in 2014 we are going to start seeing agencies explore and touch the Internet of connected people. At Langoor, we are working on multiple projects that involve customer interaction on TVs, NFC phones, wearables amongst other things. We should see agencies starting to explore this as the next big wave over the next 5 years.
From everything I have seen and what I have on the table, 2014 is going to be an amazing year. Happy 2014!