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Observatory International Curated Newsletter – February 2023

Agencies Racing to Develop AI Creative Services

A flurry of creative and communications agencies, including MediaMonks, AKQA, Dept and Digitas are in the process of or have announced their intent to develop AI capabilities and services.  Until recently agencies have focused on educating clients on the potential of AI tools and preparing for their introduction in the future.  Now attention is shifting to creating, testing and production of AI-based creative content and campaigns.

Sustainability and the Communications Agency Pitch Process

Unashamedly highlighting one of our own articles we expect to see sustainability considerations become a much more significant element in the pitch process.  In the main, sustainability has been an important, but sometimes tick-box exercise in the agency selection process until now.  Understanding how agencies plan to reduce the environmental impact of the communications development, production and activation process, and how they will support clients to achieve the same, will, we believe, become a much more significant part of the selection criteria and differentiation between agencies.  And reconciling sustainability and marketing and communications operations is a theme picked up by many of the CMO’s and marketing leaders short-listed for the World Federation of Advertisers Marketer of the Year Award, so we can expect to hear much more on this subject.

The Need to Stem Talent Loss and Attract New People to Marketing

In the report “Investing in our talent’s future” the Advertising Association in the UK and the think tank Credos warned that the number of people working in marketing and advertising in the UK fell by 14% between 2019 and 2022.  It’s a trend we are seeing repeated elsewhere.

It investigated advertisers, agencies, media owners and tech platforms and found the shortage of talent in the industry is due both to a failure to attract and to retain talent.  It highlights a distinct lack of awareness about marketing and advertising as a career option.  And as we have highlighted before, training is a key tool to support the retention of talent.  Being an inclusive industry was highlighted as a critical factor to both attract and retain talent.

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