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Death Of Media Agency Is Greatly Exaggerated

The Drum'sdigital editor Ronan Shields weighs in on a study of mobile and programmatic media issued last week by the IAB UK. That study found that nearly two-thirds, or 64%, of mobile display ads are being traded using programmatic media buying technologies. But the real zinger was that 45% of those polled indicated "no or little knowledge" of the programmatic sector despite the fact that half of all mobile display inventory is being purchased via programmatic tech.

Shields concludes that despite a plethora of programmatic service providers, brands will continue to need their agencies to help them navigate this increasingly confusing landscape. "The fact is... keeping up to date on such tech is a full-time job. Programmatic advertising is complicated enough on desktop, and when you add cookie-less targeting using IDFA IDs, verified Facebook IDs, etc., etc. into the mix, you just find yourself mired in evermore confusing acronyms.Brands need their agencies just as much as they need their ad tech."



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2 comments about "Death Of Media Agency Is Greatly Exaggerated".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, January 19, 2016 at 9:33 a.m.

    Tobi, I'm not sure that the findings cited by Ronan have anything to do with the survival of "media agencies". The fact that 45% of the respondents had little or no idea what programmatic buying---for digital----was all about, while 64% of mobile display ads are placed by programmatic means, is hardly surprising. Indeed, were the 55%  who claimed that they understand programmatic buying put through a reasonably fair test, many of these would, no doubt, fail.

    What I'm seeing with greater consistency is a clear separation between traditional media planning and buying people at the agencies and highly specialized teams of "digital" or "interconnected" people, who, of course, are involved in programmatic buying for their clients. So long as this distinction remains in force, and it's getting entrenched rather than weakening, there will always be a need for agencies where traditional media are concerned for branding ad campaigns. What remains to be seen is whether the two disciplines are ever effectively integrated or merged and whether advertisers take digital programmatic buying in-house----mainly for DR or promotional media buys.

  2. George Hayes from GTH Consulting, January 19, 2016 at 12:40 p.m.

    Always good to hear from Mr. Papazian, whose observation is on the money.  If media agencies are to survive, then they must find a way to truly integrate the "digital" with "traditional".  Traditional media is morphing into something that is a true amalgam of both.  One needs only to look at the emphasis the New York Times has put on their virtual reality app or how much CBS is promoting its various on demand opportunities to see this is already underway.

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