Media agencies have been moving aggressively into building branded content offers.  The lastest:  WPP’s Mindshare announced a reorganization last week, including the creation of a unit focused on making content. 

Integrating content and marketing messages certainly allows advertisers to sneak under the radar screen of ad-fleeing consumers; and reinforces the value exchange of entertainment for attention. 

But in the rush to create new advertising occasions, the most important piece is missing:  what about the consumer? 

Here’s what I mean: media is becoming more addressable, more interactive, more measurable.  An agency’s challenge in the near future will be moving consumers through their individual marketing funnels.  Yes, reinventing the front end – how to connect with consumers – is important.  But even more critical today is inventing the back end – knowing who to connect with and how. 

Content is just an excuse to interact and build a relationship with consumers.  If the content is not connected with deep consumer intelligence and individualized data, media agencies are missing half the opportunity.