83 per cent of the respondents in a new ID Comms survey by media management consultancy strongly agreed that advertisers who can identify, organise and motivate the right talent will deliver a stronger marketing performance.
However the two sides were split on the quality of each other’s talent and who should take the lead in some of the new areas that are increasingly driving media thinking, notably around data management, programmatic buying and mobile marketing.
The results are based on 130 responses from marketing, media and procurement specialists with a range of global, regional and local market responsibilities.
Client-side respondents represented brands with a total, global advertising spend of approximately $20bn, while media agency participants came from the six major holding groups as well as key independents from both the US and Europe.
Media agencies are broadly critical of the current state of media talent at advertisers with 70 per cent of agency respondents disagreeing with the statement that the existing advertiser media talent was able to meet their needs.
Advertisers were more bullish, with 53 per cent thinking that it met their current needs, although 29 per cent were willing to admit that there was work to do internally.
There was greater agreement when it came to current media agency talent, even if a third of clients were sceptical about its ability to meet their needs.
Media agency talent’s ability to evolve over the next two or three years was also viewed largely positively with 54 per cent of agencies and 34 per cent of advertisers indicating they had high/very high confidence this would be the case.
By contrast, media agencies were highly sceptical about the ability of advertiser talent to meet the challenges of the next few years, with only 16 per cent willing to express high/very high confidence. Marketers were more bullish with 34 per cent expressing a vote of confidence in their colleagues.
Despite this bullish response, both advertisers and their agencies cited quality of media agency talent as their key concern with 30 per cent of advertisers claiming this was an issue, a recognition of their dependence on media agencies.
Looking beyond media agency talent, priorities also differ between advertisers and agencies. Advertisers rank their own internal structures and capabilities as the next most important areas for talent management, but media agencies indicate choice of remuneration models and the challenge of motivating talent as their top areas of concern, areas that were least likely to be cited by clients.
The biggest divide, however, was around who would develop future talent in key areas such as social. While there was broad alignment between client and agency respondents on where responsibility lies in the areas of Insight (Shared), Social (Shared) and E-commerce (Client/Internal), that was not the case in other areas.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of advertiser respondents believed they should be responsible for data talent, but most agencies (58 per cent) think this should be shared.
A greater number of agency respondents also want to become talent centres for Mobile (53 per cent), Content (46 per cent) and Programmatic (54 per cent) but in all three areas a significant number of clients want to share responsibility, scoring 41 per cent, 50 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.
57 per cent of advertisers did recognize that they needed help in media planning but overall they were reluctant to divest total responsibility in developing capabilities, preferring to maintain internal control or share the task with their external agencies.
ID Comms CSO Tom Denford (left) says: “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.
“Such lack of knowledge not only affects their ability to use media to drive business growth but also lies at the heart of many of the trust and transparency issues that we highlighted in our last survey. 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.”