Lack Of Data Challenges Advertiser-Agency Relationship, ANA Survey Shows

More than 80% of advertisers use data to help them manage agency partnerships, but many challenges that include turning data into actual insights, lack of transparency, and lack of centralized repository to manage the numbers can put a kink in relationships, according to the study.

Findings from the study, released Monday by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and conducted with help from Decideware, show that frustration continues to grow among those advertisers who do not have access to data and insights.

Advertisers don't always know the questions they need to ask, so they rely on their agency partners to tell them, said ANA Group EVP Bill Duggan.

"We're in an era where there's some trust issues between advertisers and agencies," Duggan said. "You don't know what you don't know, meaning there are data points they need to ask for. Bot fraud in digital advertising is one of those data points."

The study -- Using Data to Manage Agency Relationships: What’s Important to Marketers, and conducted in August 2016 -- shows marketers how to manage their relationship with agency partners and leverage the data. It explores the use of data to support and evaluate agency performance and track agency hours, copy and creative testing, production costs, and media efficiencies and budgets.

Data improves transparency between advertiser and agency partners. Among the 37 performance metrics were evaluated in this survey, and media-related metrics such as efficiency of buys and viewability rates account for seven of the 10 highest-rated metrics for importance.

On a five-point scale, advertisers rated data as it relates to the efficiencies of media buys at a 4.6, while delivery of total campaign audience goals came in at 4.5, budget updates at 4.4, media quality assessment at 4.3, and agency performance evaluations at 4.3. 

The top five media-specific events that advertisers do not use data to manage include copy approvals, time required for specific products and tasks, number of agency personnel attention a photo shoot, metrics related to sustainability, and number of clients attending a photo shoot.

The findings suggest that 82% of companies see data contributing to better overall advertiser and agency relationships, along with improving both agency efficiencies at 90% and internal client efficiencies at 78%.

The use of data to manage the relationship continues to increase, with 84% of respondents who say they see it growing in their organization and none saying they see a decline in usage.

Data is most important and most heavily used in managing media and billing/budgets, and least important and least used in the areas of creative and production.

It's a topic that the MediaPost Search Insider Summit attendees will debate during the December summit.


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