The media agency as an air traffic controller
The shift towards consultation services is also evident in the agencies' conventional core task, buying visibility in media. This is carried out semi-automatically in systems such as Google or Facebook, but Björklöf says that it does not eliminate the fact that you need to have the right skills.
"The Facebook algorithm, for example, reflects a user's previous areas of interest. It's not, however, able to offer anything new that the user hasn't indicated an interest in."
Similarly, professional skills are required when applying analytics. "You can drown in data unless you understand what affects what, and how. Finding the cause and effect is our job."
Björklöf says that media agencies now often take the role of 'an air traffic controller' in addition to their normal daily tasks. They help their customers to allocate their marketing budgets where they achieve the best return. "In order to do this, you have to understand complex systems."
Media as a development partner
The huge changes in the industry have also had an impact on the way media agencies and media houses collaborate. "We now work much more closely with media houses," says Björklöf.
As recently as ten years ago, media houses would publish their media cards and then prices for advertising space were discussed. The modern digital marketing solutions call for close collaboration between marketers and media.
Björklöf encourages those involved in developing new processes to take their cue from Sweden and other European countries where there is more investment in marketing.
"In Finland, companies tend to wait too long for ready-made solutions, while a culture of experimentation is dominant in our rival countries," Björklöf explains. She urges companies to spend part of their marketing budget on experimenting with new solutions and then using analytics to see which of them work. "This business needs innovators who can visualise the future."