ID Comms survey: clients still need media agencies to grapple with technology issues

A new report by ID Comms has found that 41 per cent of advertisers admit they are still using media technology “ineffectively” or “completely ineffectively.”

The technology, which is now used to power most digital media buying, is now an essential part of the media landscape but only 15 per cent of advertisers claim to be using it “effectively.” No marketers claimed to be using it “very effectively.”

Advertisers also admitted that they had a lack of understanding of how each technology platform within the stack contributes to the value chain and serves specific business/media goals. Eight per cent claimed a “good understanding,” 67 per cent “some understanding,” 22 per cent “little understanding” and three per cent “no understanding.” No-one claimed a “full understanding” of the role of their tech stack.

While agency participants were more bullish – 24 per cent said advertisers were using tech “effectively” – the ID Comms 2017 Global Media Technology Report found they have also benefited from the lack of knowledge around the new tech landscape.

The vast majority of advertisers agreed with the statement “Advertisers inability to keep up with the rapid evolution of the tech landscape makes them over dependent on solutions provided by their agency”. In total, 83 per cent either “agreed” or “strongly agreed”. Even 37 per cent of agency respondents agreed.

The poor performance and dependency of many advertisers contrasts with the agreement on both sides that successful advertisers understand the impact of marketing technology on their business and have a clear strategy for ensuring it adds value rather than complexity. 75 per cent of all respondents either agreed or strongly agreed.

The report also found that advertisers were turning to a wide variety of advisers in their search for guidance on the best technology to use and how to deploy it. Whilst both agency and advertisers agreed specialist tech consultants are trusted most often to advise advertisers on tech solutions (30 per cent and 28 per cent respectively), advertisers also highlighted media agencies (23 per cent) and agency participants highlights management consultants (19 per cent) as trusted advisors in this space.

ID Comms consultant Suzy Pyzer-Knapp says: “What we find with these results is that marketers have a concerning lack of understanding about the precise impact that marketing technology is already having and will continue to have on their wider business. “Marketers demonstrated anxiety over the rapid pace of change, anxiety about where to seek objective advice and an over-dependence on on agency-provided solutions. There has never been a greater need for marketers to get to grips with this area.”

The findings are based on responses from 229 respondents. The respondents were comprised of marketing, media and procurement professionals with a range of global, regional and local market responsibilities, representing companies spending over $40bn globally on advertising each year. 77 per cent of the respondents were Europe-based, 11 per cent were from the US with the remaining 12 per cent representing the rest of the world.

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