Data Will Transform The Agency Model

How can agencies make the complex media landscape easier for clients to wrap their minds around?

For one thing, said Lyle Schwartz, managing partner at WPP’s GroupM, “we have to stop all the device focus. It’s about consumers and interaction with content wherever it plays.”

Schwartz commented on an agency panel session at Tuesday’s comScore Industry Summit in New York.

Scott Hagedorn, CEO at Omnicom’s Annalect, said that media agencies need to evolve into a much more “consultative” role.

Rob Jayson, Chief Data Officer, ZenithOptimedia agreed. Tactical services focused on optimizing spot placement are important but the use of data for strategic decisions, he said, will “drive the changing model” that media agencies must adopt.  Agencies, he added, “need to lift the conversation to that strategic level.”

Data, added Schwartz, perhaps is best used to enhance communication among marketers and agencies about core objectives like building revenue. “With data we have a common language that can be used to see what it is that drives a client’s business.”



Programmatic buying will continue to grow, but it’s not the approach that should be taken to engage all audiences, said Jayson. Agencies need to advise clients on which audiences best lend themselves to a programmatic campaign versus a content buy. “We’ll see a mix of that,” he said, adding that the key is getting the right balance between the two.  “Data will help determine that.”

The industry will need more data scientists and math-focused talent going forward. And Keith Camoosa, EVP, managing director, research & analytics, Magna Global said the industry has its work cut out for it in order to attract them.

“I think we have a branding problem,” Camoosa said. Part of the mission he said, is convincing talent that advertising is “more fun” than other industries to work in.

Hagedorn agreed, saying the industry needs to stress that it can be a more satisfying place to work as well, given the potential to “create a product versus just serving somewhere.”

2 comments about "Data Will Transform The Agency Model".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 16, 2015 at 10:28 a.m.

    Odd? When I was in the agency business, and not just as a media guy but also as a member of the BBDO Strategy Review Board which was involved in copy testing, marketing, targeting, etc. activities for all of my agency's accounts, we had tons of "data" and much of it was very useful. The way these announcements, speeches and predictions sound, one would think that using "data" was a revolutionary new concept that will reshape advertising. Except for the fact that much of the "data" is being obtained electronically and is increasingly "granular"---indeed so granular that nobody will probably look at it without some computerized analytical system to digest the findings into a readable report---what's the big deal? We talk about "data", but very few of the theorists seem to actually use much of it.

  2. Michele Volpe from Media Source Solutions, September 17, 2015 at 3:53 p.m.

    Data has always had it's place in marketing, media buying, analytics, and so on. I agree that it's not a new concept. What is new is the vast amounts of data that is being collected from many differenct sources and categorizing it so it can be used in a meaningful way. That's the big difference. Data collection has evolved from getting it ready to market in 1 - 2 months to real time. This is huge! It can be overwhelming without the right tools to understand what the data is telling you and how to use it to its best potential. Data is our friend and we'd be lost without it.

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