A look at what’s to come for media agencies in 2024

Mediahub CEO Sue Squillace reflects on the year that has been, pointing to the key trends media agencies will need to respond to in 2024.

There is no question 2023 has been a challenging year and one that was hard to predict.

Some categories and channels have been more affected than others, resulting in a very short market caused by the volatility and uncertainty. Conversely, it has also been great to see positive growth in media channels hit most by Covid and the investment in digital from traditional linear platforms. This now offers brands a portfolio approach to reaching their audiences which will play a key role in how we make smart media choices in 2024.

These themes will likely carry over and be consistent as we move into 2024. I feel we are seeing green shoots and a new sense of optimism, albeit more cautious than in previous years, as business’s have slight-sized and prepare for the challenging and dynamically changing conditions ahead.

Looking back, I was lucky enough to have some time off between roles in 2023, and even luckier to spend a few months on business planning as we built out Mediahub’s proposition. This included talking to many of Australia’s leading CMOs, in-house media experts and media partners to discuss their views and challenges, but more importantly, how we can help make their complex ecosystems easier to navigate.

The themes were consistent with the increases in cost of living impacting their customers, the challenge is having to do more for less, elevating the importance of ROI across every aspect of their business.

The tasks as we move into 2024 will be to:

  • Increase effectiveness by using technology to become more efficient and find higher value audiences to engage and connect with
  • Work collaboratively, connecting services to deliver end-to-end solutions and experiences
  • Retain high quality talent, although talent challenges have eased and we are not seeing the crunch from previous years, a need to invest and retain quality senior talent on clients’ business remains. Further inroads on diversity and inclusion not just within our teams but also within our communications and media choices also need to be pursued
  • Sustainability and the importance of responsible media adoption, transparency alignment with ethical platforms
  • AI – how we test and learn and use this technology for not only speed to market and efficiency but also to personalise content, advertising messages and platform experiences. This was a critical theme and investment in most of this year’s upfront presentations and will continue to be a critical part of agency’s agendas moving into 2024

What is clear is there is no one agency model. A modern media agency needs to be built in a way that provides new ways of working to deliver unique solutions. Critical to our offering is full-service thinking under one roof with our creative partners but also within clients’ own agency villages and in-house media teams.

It is a pretty exciting time to build a new agency with hybrid working practices opening up opportunity to utilise borderless talent connecting Trans-Tasman markets and also APAC.

For me, the big personal highlight of 2023 was definitely the phenomenal rise and importance of female sport, evident through the FIFA World Cup. I am not sure anyone could have predicted the uprising of support for our female athletes: it’s a very proud time to be a mother of 3 girls. It will also be pretty exciting to see how this will play out during next year with the Paris Olympics and Paralympics. I am predicting we will see more brands shifting the way their brands interact with our athletes and the more support towards the Paralympics and their sports stars than ever before.

2024 will be an exciting time to be in the media industry.

Sue Squillace is CEO of Mediahub.


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