Most advertisers see media as a 'complex headache'


Media consultant ID Comms is out with a new study — based on a survey of marketers and media agencies conducted in January and February — which found that both groups believe that for the most part, advertiser media decisions remain procurement-based.

The study also found that both groups — accounting for 79% of the respondents — believe such an approach is wrong and that media decisions should be based on strategic marketing factors, not just costs.

The study is based on answers from 178 respondents comprised of marketing, media and procurement professionals around the world, but primarily from Europe (74%) and the U.S. (18%). The brands represented spend more than $22 billion on global advertising annually, while the agency respondents came from all the major holding groups and independents.

According to the report, advertisers and agencies agree that most advertisers see media as a “complex headache.” They are also seen by both groups as focused on media buying and efficiency rather than planning and effectiveness and “do not view media agencies as strategic partners.”

Some 97% of respondents strongly agreed that “advertisers who take a more strategic and thoughtful approach to media will deliver a stronger marketing performance.” Ninety-two percent of the agency respondents felt that way, per the report, as well as 81% of the advertisers that were polled.

“These results clearly highlight the need for advertisers to place greater importance on smarter, more strategic media thinking overall for media success,” the study concluded.

ID Comms' Tom Denford added: “Real strategic leadership on the advertiser side would dramatically improve media performance. The fact that advertisers still have gaps and doubts in this area is a real black mark. Advertisers need to play their part in providing agencies with great media briefs and a process that allows them to do great work that adds value.”

Most of the advertising and agency respondents also indicated that advertisers generally are performing “below expectations” in major areas of media capability, including setting clear KPI’s for media, having a point of view on ROI for media and having a well-established internal media group.

Agencies are lacking in a number of areas as well. Advertiser and agency executives agreed that generally, agencies perform “below expectations” for identifying relevant data-fueled insight, integrating owned, earned and paid media and providing “neutral and objective planning recommendations.” Also lacking at agencies, both groups agreed is a culture of media innovation.