Doug Ray has worked in the advertising industry for three decades. As Product Manager for Global Media at Dentsu, he is one of the most important people in this space. Ray is on the next cover of Radio ink and he will talk to Forecast 2022.
In our cover interview, you’ll find out what Ray thinks about radio, why he’s bullish on podcasting, and what radio needs to do to get a bigger slice of the revenue pie.
Here’s a look at what you’ll read in the November issue of Radio ink and find out if you are registered with Forecast 2022.
Radio Ink: What is the state of the advertising industry today?
Ray: We are at a huge inflection point. There are more things changing now than ever before, even when you go back to the birth of the Internet in the early 90s. It was the digitalization of media in the late 90s and in the early 2000s – that was huge, and we didn’t simultaneously have the regulatory environment or the social platforms that have to deal with issues related to challenges like the spread of disinformation, harassment, etc.
We are facing huge changes in the regulatory environment, the social context and some of the basic infrastructure. Deprecating the cookie changes the way customers view their technology stack. It wasn’t that long ago that every customer was rushing to get a DMP, a data management platform, and now they’re moving away from that to a CDP, a customer data platform. The underlying identity that much of the industry operated on is disappearing. It will no longer be the currency with which we trade media. It speeds up and complicates where we are. It is an incredibly exciting time.
If you are a student of this company or a curious marketer, it has never been so exciting. But your day can be quite chaotic as you can be pulled from one topic to another as there are so many things getting confused at the same time.
Radio Ink: Is everything moving towards digital and moving away from traditional media?
Ray: Yes. We envision a world where nearly 100% of consumer engagement is digital. This is made possible through the accelerated use of data and technology. We like to think that things will be data driven and tech driven in the future. If we mine data and use technology to replace some of the things that were done by people – you see AI replacing some of the simple analytical work that analysts used to do, and automated platforms replacing some roles as we let’s move to a more digital future – that doesn’t mean we’re going to move away completely from non-digital terrestrial radio, linear TV, etc. They will still have a role to play, but it will diminish over time.
Radio Ink: Your answer sounds like bad news for radio.
Ray: Yes and no. With the explosion of podcasts, listening to streaming radio is at an all-time high. Radio remains the best medium to reach many audiences across the country on a large scale. Terrestrial radio is still a strong and flourishing medium. We’re just adding to that. We are giving more opportunities to connect with consumers through this medium.
I am incredibly optimistic about the audio. I remember in the late 90s how many dot-com brands we launched on the back of radio with incredible success. We were able to test and learn. We tested and monitored the markets, and the radio was immediate. We built Hotwire.com and did it all over the radio. We had some incredibly strong advocates for live radio working with key figures. I think radio is booming. We now have more tools in our toolbox to tap into. Audio streaming and podcasts are areas that marketers will tap into much more in the future.
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Sign up for Forecast to see Doug Ray speak HERE.