Almost 70% of agencies believe brands do not have enough media talent

Agencies and client-side marketers are some distance apart in their perception of the current levels of media talent, with agencies believing there is a dearth of talent at clients.

A survey by consultancy ID Comms found 64% of agency respondents do not think the existing client-side media talent pool is able to meet their needs.

Advertisers were more bullish, with 53% stating that their media talent does meet agency needs. However 29% were willing to admit there is more work to do internally to ensure their marketers are better skilled in media buying, data management and mobile marketing.

Media agencies remain sceptical about the ability of brands to meet the marketing challenges of the new few years, with just 16% willing to express high or very high confidence. In comparison, 34% of marketers expressed confidence in their colleagues.

And in key areas such as social media, where brands have only intensified their marketing investments over recent years, there is also a disconnect on where responsibility should lie in key areas such as insight, ecommerce and data.

Nearly half (48%) of advertiser respondents believe they should be responsible for data talent, but most (58%) agencies believe this responsibility should be shared.

An overwhelming number of agency respondents believe they should be backed to become talent centres for branded activity on mobile (53%), content (46%) and programmatic (54%). But in all three areas, advertisers want to share responsibility.

graph“There are clear splits between the two sides of the talent equation. Agencies have doubts over the quality of advertisers’ media capabilities.  But 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,” says Tom Denford, chief strategy officer at ID Comms.

The study, which was based on 130 responses from marketing, media and procurement specialists, unveils a widening disconnect between marketers and agencies.

Earlier this month, a study, carried out by K2 Intelligence for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in the US, found evidence of a “fundamental disconnect” in the marketing industry regarding the basic nature of the advertiser-agency relationship”.

And back in April, a ID Comms transparency survey revealed that more than 70% of global advertisers and agencies agree that the way an agency manages rebates is the biggest barrier to building long-term trust. And in particular showed many brands were losing trust in their agencies.

Denford adds: “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 around rebates too. 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.”

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