Data is the key to transparent partnerships

Richard Robinson, EMEA managing director at ad tech firm Turn

Times of change in our industry can breed distrust between brands and partners. Dealings done in secret or not disclosed can take a toll on trust and effectiveness. The remedy is transparency. ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant,’ as the saying goes.

Recently, Turn commissioned a poll of UK agency creatives and found that 35 per cent of respondents said it’s difficult to get data from brands. 29 per cent said the same of media agencies.

I don’t envision a sinister cabal working to keep information private. I think that, like everyone, ad agencies grapple with rapid technology changes, running into skill and capacity limitations. The best agencies embrace this dynamic tide and roll up their sleeves. Others try to keep technology at bay. That may not be because of fear, but rather an unwillingness to make new hires.

As an industry, we should do better so everyone involved truly understands the power of data and sees its benefits.

In a best-case scenario, the agency, client and technology partner work together in what I call a ‘three-legged stool’. This model relies on trust. I think lack of trust in the industry is based on a misunderstanding of the roles between partners. To truly work together and do the best job on behalf of the client, there needs to be free and open access to data at all stages of a campaign. Each party should feel they’re shareholders in the success of marketing efforts.

In this case, sunshine isn’t just a disinfectant, it’s the fuel for success.

Richard Robinson, EMEA managing director at ad tech firm Turn.

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