Emerging Stronger: Building Brands in a Transformed World

Brian Wieser

The remarkable rate of change over the last 18 months has forced brands to rethink how they invest more efficiently, intelligently and responsibly in every category.

There are no simple answers at this stage, but there are solutions for responsible investment and brand building that can help brands grow stronger and better positioned to lead.

With Upfront season upon us in the U.S., the rapidly rising streaming rates around the world and the need to invest in the way consumers now demand, the time has never been better to examine how marketers should approach building their brands going forward.

Emerging Stronger: Building Brands in a Transformed World looks at three key areas that have transformed the most for GroupM clients over these last 18 months: e-commerce, CTV/TV and responsible investing.

Written by Brian Wieser and other contributors across our group, the publication dives into these three key categories:

  • E-commerce: in a follow up to the December 2020 e-commerce forecast, we now estimate that, in 2020, the world’s largest CPG manufacturers grew their e-commerce revenues by 57% year-over-year.
    • We project that global e-commerce sales will grow 20% during 2021, to $5.2 trillion.
    • Then 19% in 2022, to $6.2 trillion.
    • In 2021, China will once again lead the world in e-commerce as a percent of retail sales (27.5%) followed by the U.K. (23.2%), the U.S. (16.1%) and Germany (14%).
  • TV and Connected TV: brands continue to look for new ways to target audiences across screens and, as more consumers move toward streaming, the conversations about streaming versus linear have been pervasive.
    • While it might remain superior to most other alternatives, advertising against premium TV content is likely to become more expensive and have less of a halo effect for the brand than it does now.
    • Global streaming services are going to be increasingly important in television with every passing year.
      • Last year, the five largest global sellers of digital advertising—Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Bytedance and Amazon—accounted for around half of the world’s total advertising spending,
      • The top five in 2010—Google, Viacom (and CBS), News Corp., Disney and Clear Channel—accounted for just under 20%.
  • Responsible Investment: Communities are increasingly holding brands to account to be more inclusive, more cognizant of their carbon footprint and to drive positive cultural influence.
    • CMOs must no longer use investments to achieve short-term but ultimately self-defeating profits and instead spend budgets with an eye toward restoring a healthy media ecosystem.
    • Advertising shifts culture. We need to evolve our valuation and measurement so they place a premium not just on reach, viewability and effectiveness, but on social and environmental impact. We need to be willing to pay more for clicks that help boost a stable society, not just our quarterly reports.