70% of agencies don’t think advertiser media talent is good enough

70% of agencies don’t think advertiser media talent is good enough.

Media agencies and advertisers are at an impasse; the majority (70 per cent) of media agencies believe companies lack media skills in-house as one in three marketers admit the quality of agency talent as their number one concern, according to a new study.

A ID Comms survey of 130 responses from marketing, media and procurement specialists found there is a division between media agencies and advertisers. Just 16 per cent of media agencies showed high or very high confidence in marketers' ability to meet the challenges of the next three years. However, marketers have a more positive outlook, with more than a third (34 per cent) backing their colleagues to bridge the gap.

Some 29 per cent of advertisers believe there is still work to do internally to get their media skills up to speed, while more than half (53 per cent) are content with their media talent. Most (57 per cent) admitted they need help when it comes to media planning, though in the main they were reluctant to divest total responsibility in developing capabilities, preferring to keep control or share it with their agencies.

Despite the agreed upon shortfall when it comes to media skills, 54 per cent of agencies and 34 per cent of advertisers said they either had high, or very high, confidence that media agency talent will evolve to the required standard.

Tom Denford, chief strategy officer at ID Comms, said: “Our talent report identifies agreement between advertiser and agency on how critical media talent to future success, but also identifies clear splits between the two sides of the talent equation. Agencies have doubts over the quality of advertisers’ media capabilities.

“What the report underlines, however, is how much advertisers still rely on agency talent to deliver on their media goals, perhaps reflecting that advertisers have not invested enough on their own internal media talent.”

Denford concluded: “Such lack of knowledge not only affects their ability to use media to drive business growth but also lies at the heart of many trust and transparency issues. The bottom line is that without better in-house media talent many marketers have little leverage in trying to develop a more transparent relationship with their agency.”

The biggest divide between both parties was over who would develop future taken in key areas such as social, according to the report. To that point, agency respondents want to become talent centres for mobile (53 per cent), content (46 per cent) and programmatic (54 per cent), though in all three areas a signifanct number of clients want to share the responsibility, scoring 41 per cent, 50 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

Furthermore, nearly half (48 per cent) of advertiser respondents believed they should be responsible for data talent, but most [58 per cent] agencies think the responsibility should be shared.

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