Ian Clark, former director of special projects, News International
In the past, media owners were not focused enough on their clients’ sales, but there are more digital opportunities alongside newspapers, magazines and TV where they can offer portfolio sales. It is easier for them to do that with the depth of knowledge they have of their own ad inventory than it would be for an agency.
Clients are not as knowledgeable alone as they could be with an agency riding shotgun alongside them. They are often spread too thinly to provide enough time to go through all the performance data, and to ensure they set out the right key performance indicators and follow them up. That is where the agency can help. This is not a one-size-fits-all model. Clients with a strong sense of what they are after and how they can measure that are most likely to take advantage of that relationship.
Agencies need to maintain media-neutrality and I think it is only a positive thing when they can connect up with media owners and understand more about what that media owner could specifically do for them and their clients. Increasingly, media agencies are engaging with media owners at an earlier stage than they ever would have done previously and getting to them at the planning phase.
Nick Hugh, senior director of direct response (EMEA), Yahoo!
Yahoo! bought the Right Media Exchange, an open platform designed to enable buying and selling of online ads in real-time auctions, four years ago. The big five agency holding groups have all created their own trading desks to buy in this way.
The vast majority of display advertising in Europe is bought through agencies. There are one or two advertisers who like to go direct, for example Capital One, but that is because behind the scenes they have an incredibly advanced analytics team. In the US, where the market is 12 to 18 months ahead, some brands are certainly going direct to the media owners because they have the technology and they have hired the people.
Yahoo!’s intention is to be at the centre of the ecosystem, both from the user and advertiser perspective. The content we provide through our websites is important to the user side and tools like the Right Media Exchange are important to the advertiser side. We will always own the ad performance data on our own sites ourselves. From the agency side, they have their advertisers’ data. It is those two combined that drives value for the advertiser.