Leigh Terry
Oct 10, 2018

Navigating the new norms

Where will 'the age of flux' take us? Two years into my APAC role, here are a few thoughts.

Leigh Terry is CEO of IPG Mediabrands APAC.
Leigh Terry is CEO of IPG Mediabrands APAC.

We asked four APAC-based agency-network heads to comment for our special 50th anniversary issue. See Agency voices: Regional leaders look forward.

A few years ago, Robert Safian of Fast Company magazine referred to the dizzying pace of change that characterises this decade as ‘The Age of Flux’. Where will the flux take us? Two years into my APAC role, here are a few thoughts.

Independence of research will become a greater necessity. In a world of constant shouting and ‘why my (paid for) research is better than yours’, this is the true opportunity for academia and the commercial world to work together. Clients are looking for navigators, and academia can step forward.

Size is about smarts and data – not media billings. Biggest doesn’t mean best, but focusing on being best means that you grow. Big enough to invest in product, in talent and in the future to ensure that clients and staff are looked after and their careers can thrive through great business performance. Data will redefine the proposition of what scale actually means. IPG’s acquisition of Acxiom is a real statement of intent that I truly believe helps redefine our business for a generation. 

Programmatic creative will become a norm. Bringing the same opportunity and learning
to creative optimisation has become one of the single-best opportunities for clients to gain a material advantage over their competitors. Precision marketing through addressable content is a must-have.

Shared experiences will continue to thrive and create commercial opportunities for partnerships with brands. Just look at the continuing success of Dalian Wanda, a company from the East driving (hard) into the West. There will be more cross over, with more Eastern influence than ever before. This is why we launched the IPG MediaLab APAC.

MarTech digital Pac-Man. TubeMogul, Krux MoPub, Brightroll and many others have been gobbled up by Google, Adobe, Salesforce and Facebook. The positioning of and undoubted argument over whose holistic digital tech stack is better than whose will dominate (too) many conversations in 2019. The continued need for truly independent advice is still required – did someone say death of the agency? 

Esports, especially in Asia, will become truly mainstream. Traditional media companies and more will get into it, either as equity plays or sales representation to widen their offering. Live events will continue to demand a premium beyond recorded or repeated content. 

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