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Its all about data

Advertising has always been about creativity. Advertising agencies have been flourishing because creativity is not in abundance. Nearly all brands end up going to an advertising agency to make their advertisements. Before an advertisement is made though, a key action lies in identifying who the target audience is, what their behaviour is, and where they are most likely to view an advertisement and act on it.

In the last few years, advertising agencies are growing increasingly dependent on the likes of Google and Facebook for answering those questions about the target audience. This growing dependency seems to have scared the likes of Omicon and Publicis.

What is their answer to it? Merge into one entity and combine their data expertise to take on the likes of Google and Facebook. At first look, this looks incredibly stupid. After a little reflection and thought, it still seems quite stupid. What does this advertising giant hope to achieve? Can it know the Facebook users better than Facebook does? Can it know the online behaviour of people better than the makers of the home page of hundreds of millions of people?

Their fear is understandable. Their evaluation of the role digital and Big Data will play in advertising is understandable. But their solution is not something I understand.

This is a situation that will leave anyone in a dilemma. Whether to compete with the ones having rising influence on the industry? Or to embrace the emerging powers and focus on improving the value we offer?
As often is the case, there isn't a right answer. We will just have to see how Publicis Omnicon will fare in the coming years.

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