Commentary

Advertisers Lack The Education To Keep Up With Technology

It's becoming increasingly harder to make intelligent media-buying decisions when using emerging technologies like blockchain and programmatic. While technologies like these move the advertising industry forward, some insiders believe that many marketers lack the knowledge to support this growth.

Findings from marketers in a Kantar Millward Brown study suggest that when multiple technologies don’t integrate seamlessly or in real time, humans, not machines, need to manage the complexity.

Some 57% of agencies and 52% of advertisers perceive the need for mostly human insight and some automation. When it comes to just human insight, those numbers drop to 23% and 25%, respectively.

Findings like these give Will Margiloff, CEO at IgnitionOne, fodder to talk about how the "industry's missing the smarts" on how to manage campaigns running on new and emerging technologies, especially when it comes to programmatic.

IgnitionOne, which was spun out from holding company Dentsu in a management-led buyout in 2013, works with companies like Bridgstone, Mazda, and Oreck.

"It's not as easy as people think," Margiloff said. "There's complexity that cannot get solved through technology. We have plenty of customers who want self-service platforms, but they don't have anyone to run them. They need help."

Margiloff said  there's a "drought of talent" -- not just in programmatic, but across digital. Marketers want to move a lot faster than they have the resources and knowledge to do so. 

Individual companies can help to support marketers at brands, but it's not enough.   

Margiloff says some universities offer classes on emerging tech, like programmatic, but not many. New York University, for example, does entrepreneurial studies that analyze how buys are moving toward a more addressable media, he says.

"Some of the changes relate to out-of-home moving to a more digital format," he says, "There's also addressable TV. These big channels are quick to put large percentages of their inventory into a system that allows marketers to purchase the media in an automated way."

There's actually no shortage of options to get educated. Adobe, MediaMath, Interactive Advertising Bureau, and others now offer certification in programmatic programs.

The faster technology changes, the more buyers and planners will need to get educated. It takes time.

5 comments about "Advertisers Lack The Education To Keep Up With Technology".
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  1. Henry Blaufox from DragonSearch, October 9, 2017 at 3:18 p.m.

    Typical college sponsored programs don't adjust curricula quickly enough to keep up with the rapid changes in this field. They are too bureaucratic. I have taught some myself. Industry sponsored programs may have more value.

  2. Amanda Bleich from Sizmek, October 9, 2017 at 4 p.m.

    I agree with you completely.  The process takes time, and all parties need to be fully committed to participating.

  3. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, October 9, 2017 at 4:58 p.m.

    Henry and Amanda have good points about higher education not being "responsive" to industry needs.  That said, if the industry desires better educated people then you have to affirmatively engage with colleges and universities. (Kudos to Henry for trying as an adjunct.)  Whatever you do, don't give up. Long term efforts usually do pay off but be aware it takes a while to turn the big academic ship.   

    Business and communication programs are indeed very slow to change and often epitomize well intended bureaucracies. Toward better progress, consider these tactics: 1) keep someone in your organization engaged with classroom level efforts as adjunct instructors or guest speakers, hopefully both on a continuing basis;  2) actively engage with the school's internship program and seek positions on any "advisory committees" focusing on private sector program input;   3) offer the profs, book authors and so on, access to your case studies, media buying and data examples and assign an internal staffer to nurture such interfaces; 4) talk to the Dean's at individual schools and begin dialog at the top; and 5) even higher on the food chain, lobby your professional organizations to communicate their needs and willingness to help the academic community.

    One of the big gripes from some profs is access to examples, software, data and cases studies.  Many times we in the industry logically focus on our needs.  What's the benefit analysis for schools to become more involved?  What can we offer them?  Since it’s our business to change behavior and attitudes, maybe we should apply what we know to the education situation.

     

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, October 17, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

    So very correct. Businesses want and need more educated workers. Education in those fields is mighty expensive and a challenge to be accepted (of course, professional parents have influence with their alma mater for their children). Do businesses continue to support the increasing expense for higher education ? Do they continue to support the 19th century based real estate tax to support public education ? Since they reap the rewards of an educated public, what responsibilities are they willing to take ? Openings abound. 

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, October 10, 2017 at 8:23 a.m.

    Henry, I doubt that respondents in such surveys---even if they are representative ( which I doubt )----have anything but the foggiest notion about what exactly is being asked. Not to worry, "human judgement" will probably prevail, somehow.

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