Discussing the challenges of digital disruption in the advertising and marketing world and its acceleration because of Covid-19, Glen Taylor, CEO of fully integrated production agency Taylor James, remains confident that his business can continue to remain ahead of the curve.
Millennial and Generation Z children have grown up in a completely “digital native” environment, dominated by the internet and smart devices. These digitally literate generations of people are bombarded all day, every day, by an “always on” style of content from digital platforms run by sophisticated algorithms and programmatic technologies which track the persona, interests and buying habits of users.
This constant data cycle, according to Glen Taylor [pictured], CEO of Taylor James, has made the advertising industry more personalised, immersive, experiential and measurable. However, this new environment that has manifested over the previous two decades has brought with it a number of challenges for businesses and advertising industry operators.
For example, budgets once reserved for multimillion TVC campaigns now have to be distributed across multiple agency partners, allocated on a project-by-project basis rather than an all-encompassing contract, and the rise of digital channels is driving clients to stretch the same budgets across more consumer touch points.
Glen explains: “Our industry was already under pressure from digital transformation before Covid-19 but now the pace of change has been accelerated. Traditional advertising agencies have generally struggled to keep pace with this digital world and now consultant firms, design studios, PR agencies, and specialist digital agencies are all taking more market share.
“To survive, we have to change the way we create the content and establish cheaper production hubs. However, with no standard way of working, it is a battle for many to convert and mobilise.”
However, while digital disruption remains a challenge for businesses like Taylor James, it also provides an opportunity for firms to innovate and grow.
Glen adds: “In twenty years, we have navigated multiple industry changes and financial recessions by tracking ahead of the industry trends and constantly delivering solutions to our clients’ needs. The biggest challenge right now is our clients’ ever-growing need for volume content, delivered on ever-evolving technology platforms which personalise a sales message with increased creative intellect. The opportunity for traditional production companies is to lead the future identity of agencies.”
In this changing environment, Glen believes that global production companies could be in a strong position with their ability to produce content at scale, and that by partnering with a new kind of smaller production agency, new creative and scalable solutions for advertising needs may be developed in the near future.
“Global production companies could have a huge advantage as they can produce content at scale with language and cultural understanding which is personalised and delivered through transparent, cost-effective and reliable pipelines. By partnering with a new kind of ‘production agency’ that operates on a smaller scale, delivering strategy, ideation and media buying with a strong focus on digital and emerging technology, a creative and scalable end-to-end solution can be delivered.”
Reflecting on what these changes will mean for his own business, Glen remains confident that Taylor James’ willingness to innovate and embrace the newest technologies will leave the company in good stead to succeed amid the digital disruptions of the future, with the future of advertising lying in balancing the newest technology with creative storytelling.
“Our company has always embraced technology, evolving from retouching photographs for photographers in 1999 to adopting CGI technology within five years. Since establishing the New York office in 2013, the business has experienced double-digit growth, and we have recently opened offices in Los Angeles and Mexico. An entrepreneurial and growth mindset has kept Taylor James alive, vibrant and relevant.
“For the last two years, we have integrated traditional advertising agency skillsets into our core production teams to build a new capability. With expert craftspeople across every discipline, Taylor James is made up of forward-thinking innovators with decades of experience. By placing ‘thinkers’ next to ‘makers’, we now originate ideas and craft production strategies which solve the ‘faster, better, cheaper’ challenge.
“We are prioritising the importance of production strategies across all marketing activity, to leverage efficiencies from end to end. The key is balancing technology with creative storytelling, to take the ‘big idea’ and drive value by pushing this into lots of ‘small ideas’ along the numerous media channels. The future of advertising is to balance creativity with technology to produce highly targeted content in increasingly complex ways.
"As we move forward, we will continue to adapt to the emerging trends. Precision advertising will also become more central to a brand’s campaign, offering personalised, immersive, and experiential experiences to package a story that really resonates with consumers. The vision of Taylor James for the future focuses on utilising enabling technologies and bringing creative and production together so brands can reach their audiences more quickly through more channels and in more meaningful ways.”