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New ID Comms research highlights advertiser media skills shortfall

Less than one in ten senior brand and media agency marketers thinks that media training at advertisers is up to scratch, according to a new survey by ID Comms.

The ID Comms 2016 Training Survey found that globally just 9.4 per cent of advertisers and agencies believe that current media training programmes are satisfactory, with 60 per cent agreeing that there was not enough financial support for such training.

Other factors reducing commitment to media training include lack of time (27 per cent), the feeling that such training should be provided free by agencies (12 per cent) and previous poor media training experiences (seven per cent).

The findings from media change consultancy ID Comms are based on responses from 117 senior executives at agencies and advertisers including marketers from brands spending an estimated $20bn each year and responses from all the major media agency networks.


The lack of commitment to training comes despite the fact that the vast majority of respondents are aware that better media training would give them a competitive advantage.

Nearly 96 per cent of respondents agreed that brands can gain competitive advantage in marketing by investing in media training, 67.5 per cent strongly agreeing.

Respondents also ranked the current skill base as less than satisfactory, scoring an average of 2.9 out of 5 (where 4 is satisfactory) across three critical areas: “Being a good client and following good media management behaviours,” “working productively with media agencies” and “making media more accountable.”

Splitting the results between agency and advertiser respondents shows that advertisers were most concerned with a lack of budget whilst agency respondents were most concerned with the lack of time to commit to media training.

There were also key differences between the two sides on the areas of training that would bring most benefit. Advertisers picked Media ROI (14 per cent), KPI Setting (13.5 per cent) and briefing and evaluating (12 per cent) as their most critical areas while agencies named paying for agency services (11 per cent), Media ROI (12 per cent) and KPI Setting (10.5 per cent) as their top three.

idcomms_team_pics_tom-thumb1-351x200ID Comms CSO Tom Denford (left) says: “Recent concerns over trust and transparency in the media landscape have highlighted the risks to brands of not having up-to-date knowledge and skills in media. Brands can no longer simply rely on agencies to provide free training but must take active steps to improve their own skills and commit to a programme of continuous media education.

“Training is one key tool to upgrading that internal capability, alongside recruitment, but while many recognise the benefits that better media understanding could bring to their business in a fast changing media landscape, collectively brands are failing to invest enough time and money in media training”

The findings are due to be discussed at an invitation-only event, hosted by ID Comms in London, on 10th November.

The survey was conducted between 10th September and 4th October 2016. There were 117 responses in total representing brands with a total, global advertising spend of approximately $20bn.

The respondents were comprised of marketing, media and procurement professionals with a range of global, regional and local market responsibilities. Seventy percent were Europe-based, 20 per cent were from the US and the remainder representing the rest of the world.

Agency respondents came from all six major holding companies as well as key independent media agencies.

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