Advertisement is one of the least understood industries of Turkey. It is partly due to the ever-changing landscape of the industry and partly because the stakeholders of the industry are not well-known for collaboration. The competition is much harsher than many other industries and the stakeholders don’t usually come together to discuss and solve the problems of the advertisement industry in general.
Therefore, I believe that organizations such as the Adcolony Intelligence Summit, where the world’s largest companies managing more than trillion-dollar media budgets meet, are very important. It is important because the collective know-how of an industry is being shared and the industry gets a chance to showcase its strengths to policymakers.
Usually the voices of textile, automotive and real estate businesses are heard the most. Recently, the government began to listen to the defense and software industries. The advertisement industry still has a lot to do before it gets attention from the government.
However, as Adcolony’s EMEA and LATAM General Manager Volkan Biçer expressed, Turkey can benefit greatly from a strong advertisement industry. “There were more than 100 foreign representatives of top advertisers from all over the world. I attach great importance to this in terms of business and for our country. At such hard times, we are very happy to be able to bring this many decision-makers to our country. This level of growth of businesses toward Turkey is also important in terms of creating new job opportunities. I’m very happy to be able to organize such an event and host media buyers of million-dollar brands in Istanbul,” Biçer said.
So how can we get a better share from this potential?
Advertisement has changed greatly in the last decade. It is not about creativity only anymore. Technology has become an integral part of advertisement. Maybe we cannot design a creative campaign for Iceland from Turkey, but it is very possible to run Icelandic advertisements on Icelandic websites from an ad-server based in Turkey, using Turkish software. It is also very possible to sell Turkish software to the world’s marketers just like Insider does. We, as a country, can choose to create global value by focusing on the technological part of advertisement just like Adcolony.
In the last decade, major global players bought Turkish advertisement giants and their talents. Because of mergers and acquisitions in the industry, people like Cem Topçuoğlu of TBWA and Alemşah Öztürk of 4129Grey are leading their companies in regional roles. This is fantastic as the advertisement industry needs the know-how of the people who are at executive positions of global firms.
However, I believe that in the coming decades, standing on the shoulders of giants like Topçuoğlu and Öztürk, people like Insider’s founder Hande Çilingir will be the ones who will be acquiring foreign firms.
For this to happen, as the advertisement and communications industry, we should be backing anyone and firm that strives to create technological value to advertisement and marketing.