Big Ad Tech: Channels, Publishers, Partners, Or Competitive Threat?

Much has already been written of the merger between advertising goliaths Omnicom and Publicis Groupe. Last month’s announcement has been dissected from numerous perspectives: from general coverage, to views that it’s largely a defensive move to combat emergent competition, and opinions that the underlying “big data play” may be misguided. It seems everyone has an opinion; I happen to have a few, too.
The recurrent discussions are all focused on new, nontraditional competition coming from the likes of Google, Facebook, and even and other ad tech companies. The competitive threat to the legacy advertising agency model is data and reach; tech companies have a lot of data, which enables them to precisely reach microscopic consumer segments efficiently and at scale. Translation: Ad dollars are now flowing to those companies, often at the expense of the ad agency intermediary.

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