Member Q&A: Agency Reflections on 2022, Predictions for 2023

On January 18, 2023 Research & Resources

A range of agency leaders reflect on market developments and achievements from 2022 as well as what they are expecting in 2023. Thanks to our contributors from Dentsu, Zenith, The Media Store and Enigma Communications. 

Zac Selby – National Programmatic Lead – Dentsu

Tell us about 2022, what developments in the market were you personally happy with?

Personally, I’m elated that measurement was a focal discussion point in 2022. The advancements of measurement spanned across many territories; from ad effectiveness and the role that Attention plays within the eco-system – to the environmental impacts of media, and how integrating Sustainability solutions to forecast carbon outputs can be used to partially assess the environmental impact of your digital activation supply chain.

While both Attention and Sustainability measurement solutions still have proof points to validate, it’s been remarkable to witness the collaborative nature of the industry in driving these initiatives forward and shaping rationale challenges to solve for.  

What do you feel like was achieved across the industry?

Despite chrome delaying the deprecation of the cookie, it’s commendable to see the continuance of testing across targeting, frequency and measurement alternatives. This is certainly merited, as a large portion of the open internet already functions in a cookieless environment, consumer privacy is paramount and a significant runway to test and learn will mitigate some of the foreseen headwinds.

The other big achievement was the continued growth and advancement of Programmatic Out of Home. To see this continue, Programmatic OOH needs to be utilised as a tactical extension of the traditional buy to plug strategic capability gaps. While some challenges remain, namely measurement standardisation, the trajectory of the space is undoubtedly exciting.

Any predictions that you think didn’t come to fruition?

We’re still waiting for the year of Audio…

I believe it is a tremendously under-utilised channel that is currently not being employed to its maximum potential. With a greater understanding of how distinctive audio formats create unique moods and mindsets; advertisers can extract more impact from this powerful medium. 

Beyond education, digital audio providers need to propel the maturity of their measurement infrastructure, as currently, it does not provide the same depth of intel as its digital channel counterparts. 


Vikki Pearce, Head of Digital, Zenith

What are your top tips for people management and development in 2023?

In 2022, the world was finally waking up. Australia was taking its first tentative steps toward opening the borders and allowing people in and out of the country (and Perth) again. For the media industry, it was the year of the so-called “great resignation”.  To be honest, who can blame anyone for craving a sea change? Particularly those of us who suffered so much during Melbourne’s dark days of endless lockdown. In my experience, 2022 was a year of recalibration, and it has been most important to us to support our people in their choices. This is because at the end of the day, media all around the world is fuelled by relationships. We know that some will undoubtedly return from their overseas trips or cross paths at different companies in the future.

When developing people in such a fast-paced industry, we need to keep things real and come from a place of genuine care about them – their ambitions, their time, and ultimately how those things intersect with our businesses and clients. The goal is to keep those things in alignment for as long as possible. This is not only to create stability and efficiency for business purposes, but to allow people to incubate their skills in a safe and supportive environment while they hone their crafts. It’s to nurture them on the path to becoming high performing experts in their fields – whether that be in search, programmatic, strategy or investment.

When it comes to people management and development in 2023, my top tips are based on 2 fundamental pillars: authenticity and compassion.

  • Authenticity: Be open, be honest and come from a place of genuine care when having WIPs and progress meetings with people. Share wider business information that they might not organically be exposed to. Explain how internal processes work and share some of the hopes and challenges that you face. Bringing them along for the journey will show them how to become authentic managers themselves.
  • Compassion: Have compassion for people’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Take a walk in their shoes, because many of us have been there before already. Remind yourself how you would have liked to have been seen and heard at that stage of your career. This doesn’t mean you will always be able to offer an immediate solution, but by acknowledging their perspective, you will demonstrate just how highly you value your people.


Ben Clift – Digital Director, The Media Store

Within the work environment, what did your organisation do differently in 2022 that will be carried over into 2023?

While it’s now been three whole years, it’s impossible to not mention the world-altering effects of COVID-19 and WFH when talking about the workplace environment. Like everyone else, we quickly learned to adapt to the WFH life. The Media Store invested in new tools and equipment to optimise and continually develop more efficient working routines.

Having observed our growth as an agency over the last year, we can identify some major steps we took in 2022 that fundamentally changed the way we operated that we will be carrying over into 2023 and beyond:

Automation, Optimisation & Data Visualisation

Automation was a key focus for TMS in 2022 and has been for some time as we continue to drive efficiency as a business and ultimately for our clients.

Our job as media practitioners is to always be evolving; designing these efficiencies to minimize the time we waste on arduous tasks and free up our efforts for critical thinking.

What changed, however, was the smart investment into new technology and resource, continuing to free up client and activation teams to focus on their primary duties.

Automation, as far as client outcomes go, cannot truly be realised until it is seen in action. A simple example to share is of complex dashboards we designed to consolidate all media data into a visualization tool that is not only useful, but also insightful. These real time data visualisation tools allow our agency and clients to act fast and capitalise in key moments.

We’ve automated and integrated a variety of these new tools into our optimisation process and ways or working which led to exponential growth for our clients in 2022.

We will continue to evolve our product and processes into 2023 and beyond.

Max Rivera – Data & Analytics Director, The Media Store

Are there any new exciting initiatives or approaches that you are working on for 2023?

My role at TMS is to innovate and automate. Keeping on top of the booming ad and martech industries is hard enough, let alone being able demonstrate the agility required to implement these technologies at scale. I have a unique opportunity to fulfil these duties and assist the agency in continuing to deliver best-in-class technologies and innovation to our clients without getting in the way of the day-to-day deliverables

As a full-service media agency, we know how vital it is to synchronise digital, offline, brand and competitive insights – a challenge that continues to perplex our industry. 

The challenge presents an opportunity for our team to collaborate more closely, empowered by data and analytical tools we are developing in-house. I am excited to be playing a major role in working closely with our data and media partners to continue building our product suite. Offering a complete, integrated reporting and campaign management solution for our clients.

Examples of these initiatives include tools to consolidate SEO and SEM and track both paid and organic activity, traditional linear TV and CTV reach, frequency and influence, and tracking brand sentiment via both survey data and social listening. While these concepts aren’t groundbreaking by themselves, our goal is to work towards a completely integrated solution that truly set us apart.

Reimagining media means shifting our collective mindsets. This means identifying what is holding us back, recognising the benefits of emerging technologies, and applying them in real time. The initiatives we are working on will open up new, and invigorating opportunities for our clients that we are excited to explore in 2023 and beyond.


Sally Lawrence, Group Director – Media, Enigma Communications

Tell us about 2022, what developments in the market were you personally happy with? What do you feel like was achieved across the industry? Any predictions that you think didn’t come to fruition?

The rise of sustainable media planning was a welcomed trend across the industry in 2022. Prior to last year those of us in digital marketing were somewhat exempt from conversations and expectations around sustainability, but this conversation has well and truly changed, and the spotlight is now on our industry. The good news is that we saw action across the industry in 2022, which is largely driven by accessibility, as companies come to market that make offsetting the emissions of our media plans a relatively straight forward process. This makes it easier for brands and agencies (big or small) to measure and work to control the carbon footprint of their advertising. A good move for the industry,

2023 will be no different as consumers continue to push for a better future. There will be continued pressure from the ground up and agencies will be just as accountable for the impact that their media plan has on the environment, as the brand they’re putting it into market for.

In terms of predictions that didn’t come to fruition in 2022, I think we lost a lot of the momentum in our preparation for the deprecation of the third-party cookies. Google’s delay of the rollout naturally contributed to this, but as the industry continues to evolve and go through immense change with things like NFT’s, The Metaverse, Attention metrics, shoppable formats (the list is endless), the cookie less world feels like it has somewhat been put on the back burner.


What changes in have you noticed a shift in what your clients were asking for in based on consumption habits? What investment channels or strategies do you expect across your clients in 2023?

There is a large focus from clients on the channels that have seen accelerated convergence in recent years, namely TV and Outdoor. The introduction of ad supported tiers across popular SVOD platforms have increased the appetite of clients to play more in this space, however our biggest challenge now is limited scale. It’s shiny and its new so clients want it now, but the reality is it’ll be 6-12 months before we can start playing effectively in this space, and I think the SVOD platforms still have some experimentation to do around their subscription tiers, to ensure the success of this model. This also means addressable VOD across such platforms is still a way off, and only the likes of big brands with large scale will have the ability to activate.

We will still see a strong push from clients for VOD led solutions in 2023, however the increased fragmentation will continue to be a challenge, and media buyers will be battling to manage frequency caps across platforms.

Programmatic outdoor continues to be a hot topic amongst clients and we continue to test new platforms in this space, but what we have noticed is a shift in the conversation with clients when it comes to transparency. I blame online display for the negative connotations that come along with the term ‘programmatic’, but because of this, Programmatic Outdoor can sometimes be considered a bit of a black and unregulated box. As an agency, our focus will be to refine our product when it comes to programmatic outdoor and really tackle the conversation around reporting and transparency.

Speaking more broadly, as a recession looms and proving ROI becomes more important than ever, we are anticipating having a lot of conversations with clients this year around brand vs performance and what the ideal split is. Whilst we love performance, and want to show immediate results for our clients, we also know how important building a brand is and the need to do both.