Agencies Building Their Own Tech Stacks

Stoddard + Partners, a media group out of Santa Monica, Calif., on Tuesday announced it has created two new attribution tools -- one to measure TV ad effectiveness and the other to measure brick-and-mortar foot traffic. S+P owns and operates four boutique agencies.

Blix, the company’s new retail analytics platform, uses 3G seniors to anonymously identify smartphones and measure foot traffic, traffic patterns, new vs. returning visitors, etc., all in real-time. The “Tarp Tracker” is the company’s new platform meant to measure the impact TV ads have on "second screen" activity.

The pitch caught my attention not because the tools are groundbreaking -- though they are interesting -- but because the company’s launch of two tech-based measurement tools represents the power struggle agencies face today. Included in that struggle is having the technology required to measure and attribute media.

From a purely cynical point of view, one would look at the launch of these two tools as a power grab meant to give S+P a chance to flex it’s own tech muscles. Fancy tech companies are luring brands away from working with agencies, so why wouldn’t an agency try to reel them back in with some tech of their own?

Except… it’s not pure cynicism. There’s truth to it.

I know S+P is at least thinking about this because Casey Jones, VP of product management at S+P,  proactively addressed the topic when explaining to Real-Time Daily why the company launched the measurement tools.

“As a media and marketing group, Stoddard + Partners brings a unique perspective to media analytics and attribution that other pure tech vendors may not,” Jones said.

Agencies are now preemptively asserting their importance and positioning within the advertising chain -- something they’ve never really had to do before.

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