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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

The Biggest Challenges Digital Media Faces in 2015

January 5, 2015 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

We asked a few of our members:
What do you think will be the most significant challenge for the business of digital media in 2015?

Here’s how they replied:

In 2015, I expect that most brands with a mobile presence will create offerings that better meet customer needs on the go. Presently, most mobile experiences simply mirror the desktop experience, but when we’ve reviewed customer insights we can easily see that behavior is different on the mobile platform. I predict that there will be a marriage of “big data” and mobile that allows marketing and product development departments to really grasp the opportunity to create meaningful and relevant mobile moments. This will require innovation, skill and the thoughtful application of user data, but it will be well worth the effort as it will generate more loyalty for the brands that do it well. Especially as mobile continues to grow to its inevitable domination of the online experience, we all need to be paying special attention to what more we can be doing to meet customer needs in this unique space.

Michelle Denogean
CMO, Edmunds.com
@michadv2000        @Edmunds

According to the ANA, the marketing term of 2014 was Programmatic.  There is no doubt that Programmatic is important and here to stay; however, consumers don’t follow programmatic. They don’t get excited about programmatic or curl up with programmatic…they do that with content. In 2015, it is time for content to get back in the driver’s seat. Premium content should never be viewed as a commodity and top publishers should be sending that message in every meeting they have.

David Morris
Chief Client Officer, CBS Interactive

The biggest challenge for the digital industry is proving the efficacy of display advertising. Digital still remains the most measurable and trackable form of mass media and with the right metrics and methodology, it can provide marketers with much more insights than other media. But due to the oversupply of ad inventory, unscrupulous tactics by publishers and marketers to force feed ads down users’ throats, and the lack of progress the industry has made to show effectiveness beyond sheer click thru rates, we are at a critical juncture where we need to change how we do business. The scale, efficiency and targetability of digital still makes it an incredibly powerful tool for marketers. But publishers need to work harder to prove that digital ads “work’” and rethink some of the age old practices that have led to user blindness.

Brian Colbert
CRO, About.com
About.com Publisher Logo

The challenge in 2015 will be around standardizing measurement for ad viewability. Right now, there are so many different sources to obtain campaign data, much of which lies with agencies; however, some of this lies with publishers and with third parties. There’s no real consistency on how the overall industry measures results. The publishing industry is working hard to deliver the maximum value to advertisers for their investment. The issue we all face is how to move forward efficiently without getting bogged down in the act of reconciling the various measurement services.

Mark Howard
Chief Revenue Officer, Forbes Media

@markdhoward     @Forbes
Forbes Member Logo

Finding the right way to structure the product management function in the organization. As we saw several times in 2014, media companies struggle with this. It’s easy to see why: product management works across editorial and commercial, to focus on the users’ needs, the business’s goals and the organization’s capabilities. Helping editors understand product managers and vice versa and teaching them to work well together is absolutely essential for the success of digital media.

Eric Hellweg
Managing Director, Digital Strategy,
Harvard Business Review

@ehellweg     @HarvardBiz

The most significant challenge for digital media advertising in 2015 will continue to be dealing with the operational issues that need to be addressed as more advertising moves through programmatic channels. Publishers need to understand how to get the greatest yield from this channel of demand while evolving custom programs that can deliver value and performance beyond what can be bought and sold on the open market—with enough scale to make it worth the marketers time to consider. Marketers need to master the tech stack and techniques required to get real value from programmatic buying but not become so consumed by the complexities that they miss out on other digital advertising opportunities that can offer greater value.

Mike Kisseberth
CRO, Purch

@mikekisseberth    @PurchGroup
Purch Member Logo

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