More than 90% of marketers have ‘poor’ media training

Despite widespread controversy around the way agencies handle media and rebates, marketers are still poorly trained when it comes to media planning and buying.

Just 9.4% of marketers and agencies believe their current media training programmes are at ‘satisfactory’ levels, according to a new report by ID Comms, which polled 117 senior executives at agencies and brands.

When it comes to explaining this skill shortage, over half (60%) agreed there was not enough financial support for media training, while 27% listed a lack of time and 12% stated this type of training should be provided for free by agencies.

Yet Tom Denford, chief strategy officer at media consultancy ID Comms, says brands must start providing their own media training. “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,” he adds.

Over recent months, the ANA has claimed senior executives at ad agencies are aware and regularly mandate controversial practices such as media rebates that are often not disclosed to clients.

And the lack of commitment to training comes despite the fact the vast majority of marketers and agencies are aware better media training would give them a competitive advantage. In fact, nearly 96% of respondents agreed that brands can gain competitive advantage in marketing by investing in media training.

When it comes to the types of training that would be most beneficial, the polled marketers picked media ROI (14%), KPI Setting (13.5%) and briefing and evaluating (12%) as their most critical areas.

Read more: Marketers still have ‘their heads in the sand’ around agency rebates, claims RBS Group CMO

In comparison, agencies named paying for agency services (11%), media ROI (12%) and KPI setting (10.5%) as their top three.

“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,” says Denford. “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.”