The nightmare for media houses spreads to advertising agencies


Facebook and Google are likely to grab 2 billion NOK from the Norwegian advertising market this year. This will be disastrous for the traditional media, but it is also dramatic for those who have lived by producing «traditional advertising for traditional media.» The new locomotives are so strong and fast that even the most well-founded digital transformations fail to keep up.

While Facebook and Google scoops up adverticing millions worldwide, traditional media are working hard to modify and improve their business models. Top management’s understanding and willingness to take the necessary steps are essential. No trades escape the digital transformation. Those leaders lacing understanding of the technological development often create an inertial in securing the necessary adjustments. Unfortunately this is especially prominent in «traditional businesses».

Declining advertising revenues and declining circulation is dramatic enough in itself, but when the online newspapers also loses mobile ad money to new players the nightmare spreads. These have relied on the idea that the crisis would subside when users became willing to pay for content in online newspapers. Now even the mobile advertising value is threatened.

The crisis in media houses is spreading to other sectors. The printers have long been exposed, but when paper based advertising revenues decreases, this also inflicts upon advertising agencies that have had substantial revenues from development and production of advertisements in these media. The former (major) advertising customers will increasingly demand communication strategies in social media, mobile communications concepts, new customer strategies and digital business. Excellent content (content marketing) will be revived through the deployment of social media. The traditional advertising agencies are experiencing dramatic changes to the same extent as the media houses. PR companies have to redefine which media applies to both paid and deserved channels and obtain insight into the new, strong social media. The advisory communication houses that do not take change seriously will quickly discover that they are loaded with an expertise that does not match the need of the market. The positive news for the communication industry is that new skills are often based on «old» skills. Basic knowledge is good to have, but there must be a layer over the old marketing discipline that has new definitions and new elements in it. Today’s internet is dominated by social media and mobile, next-generation Internet will be characterized by insight and analysis as a result of «big data». This will lead to a profound change of the entire communications industry.

Paper and television are no longer the main advertising channels for customers. Future channels are internet-based and mobile. How exciting it is to be art directors for mobile surfaces?  My opinion is that it is different and requires new knowledge. Companies with focus and willingness to invest and develop their skills in a good position. Unless there are new competitors, companies that define themselves as pure digital marketing companies. They are here already, taking positions. The established communications industry must take steps to maintain its position.

The communication houses that fail to integrate digital business understanding of their solutions will suffer. I would say it as brutal as it is; they will not survive 2014.

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Om bloggeren Bente Sollid Storehaug: Serie-gründer. Erfaren CEO og styremedlem i både start-ups og børsnoterte selskaper. Mentor for gründere i regi av Innovasjon Norge / Connect Norge. Jobber som digital rådgiver med særskilt kompetanse innen nye toppnivå domener (gTLD), digital kommunikasjon, digital organisering og rådgivning knyttet til digitale innovasjonsprosesser og transformasjoner. Styreformann og gründer for Dot GLOBAL, Norges eneste kommersielle toplevel domain registry. Medlem av konsernstyret i Polaris Media ASA. Medgründer i det internasjonale hostingselskapet Cloudnames AS. Partner i Digitalt AS – kommunikasjon og rådgivningsselskap for digitale virksomheter. Etablerte i 1993 Digital Hverdag som i dag er børsnotert under navnet Bouvet på Oslo Børs. Selskapet har 900 ansatte og omsetter for over 1 milliard med en EBITDA på 105 MNOK.


About Author

CEO Digital Hverdag. Styreleder i Boostcom Gruppen, Semway Norge og The Velixio Group. Medlem av konsernstyrene i Hafslund E-CO, Europris ASA, Eika-Gruppen, Polaris Media ASA og Motor Gruppen. Medlem av kulturministeren og næringsministerens næringspolitiske råd (2015-2017). Var også medlem av Regjeringens ekspertutvalg som fikk i oppgave å vurdere NRKs fremtidige finansiering (2016). Etablerte Digital Hverdag i 1993, i dag børsnotert under navnet Bouvet ASA. Mentor styreprogrammet i Digital Norway. Tidenes yngste medlem av Norsk Redaktørforening. Abelia kåret henne nylig til en av de fremste IT-kvinnene i Norge (2017) og bladet Kapital listet henne som en av Norges mektigste kvinner (2018). Finalist til prisen Women´s Board Award (2018). Gjennomførte Executive Board Programme i regi av INSEAD 2018-2019, Blockchain Innovation and Application ved MIT (2019), Digital Transformation, Platform Strategies for Success (MIT 2019) og skal gjennomføre Strategy in the Age of Disruption ved INSEAD i 2020.

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