Havas Group Media CEO Peter Mears and Global Chief Strategy Officer Greg James have launched a new platform of conversation:
In simple terms, what does it mean to be meaningful?
The short answer is media that really matters to people—media brands or content that they trust, are truly engaged with, and that drives them to take action in some form.
With our clients in media, although they don’t necessarily express it in these terms, a lot of what they tell us shows they are worried about a lack of meaningfulness in media: We are dealing with brand safety, fake news, complex data, digital disruption, and all of these topics make media consumption and, of course, media buying, less clear than it was before.
Ultimately, through the portal, we hope to cultivate better communication and an open and honest conversation about what’s happening whether that’s with our clients, our media partners, or amongst ourselves.
Why is it top of mind for so many companies?
Well, I’ve been inside Havas long enough to remember that when we first talked about “meaningful” and began the Meaningful Brands survey it was really because companies were waking up to Corporate Social Responsibility in a much bigger way. They were realizing—and seeing in their results—that the voice people now had through the Internet meant they had to be more involved in communities and more conscious of their impact on the world because we could all hold them accountable.
As time’s moved on, I think that need is even greater. And with the power of technology combining with the complexity of the economic and political environments, meaningful is a wider and even more important topic for people.
Can meaningfulness in media be measured?
Well, I’d like to find out, to be honest, because I think that would be a compelling metric to take to our clients! We’re planning to carry out various types of research on meaningfulness in media and I’m looking for teams who have something in this space that they think we can explore and for media partners who think they have a type of content or product that they can prove means more to people.
The start point is what we have in Meaningful Brands—right now, the insights team is looking at the media brands in that study and putting together a paper on what we can learn there. After that, I’m interested in looking at some kind of digital “loyalty index” (for want of a better term), where we can see which digital publishers really matter and what’s wallpaper.