Holding Companies Bet Big On Data: Now Comes The Hard Part

In the last five years, the big holding companies have invested more than $12 billion to acquire and build out their big data management arsenals, according to a just-released report from Forrester Research.

But the big payoff won’t come until the holding companies fully integrate those assets into their creative agencies, Forrester asserts. Only then will the agencies be in a position to significantly move the needle for clients and, as a result, remain relevant themselves.

“It’s time to bring the creative and the machines together, giving CMOs the data-driven execution they desire and agencies the new capabilities they need to maintain relevance,” states report, titled “The Agency Data Platforms That Will Power Creativity At Scale.”

The report commends the holding companies for building their data assets. Those assets help brands target audiences with scalable campaigns, bolster CRM capabilities and strike a balance between performance and privacy.



But by and large, the data platforms to date “miss the creative mark” per the report.

“Despite potent media activation capabilities like identifying, segmenting and engaging audiences in paid channels, agency data platforms have yet to connect to agencies’ creative development process,” the report asserts. And that’s frustrating for client CMOs, it adds.

Forrester details but doesn’t grade holding company data management efforts to date. But to its main point — creative integration — it does call out Omnicom’s Omni platform as offering “the most creative integration of agency platforms to date.”

And it’s the only platform among the holding companies assessed the report designates as “implementing” creative integration. Other platforms are said to be “forming” or “developing” their creative integration strategies.

It will behoove all the holding companies to develop and implement such strategies as soon as possible for one important reason: “The next wave of sustainable growth will come when the creative workforce amplifies agencies’ and clients’ tech investments with a powerful creative/machine partnership.”

The report advises clients to work with their agencies to create pilot tests. It urges CMOs to invite their IT and data science colleagues to their next agency review, “instead of falling for the slick slideware of the pitch.”

1 comment about "Holding Companies Bet Big On Data: Now Comes The Hard Part".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 25, 2019 at 8:07 a.m.

    Richard, the reason why so many brands hesitate to make head to head comparisons with rival brands---even when there is a fair point to make like more convenient packaging or greater efficacy---is that this, in effect, promotes the rival products and usually initiates a similar negative response by them in their advertising. Remember the TV "taste tests" where Pepsi "defeated' Coke in its tests and the reverse happened when Coke retaliated? After a while both brands stopped this kind of advertising as it was proving counterproductive.It may be possible for some brands to make a valid point against rival brands with direct comparisons---but on a toned down basis. However, many will prefer to do this by simply touting their own benefits and letting consumers---many of whom are well aware of other brands and their possible shortcomings----come to the desired conclusions.

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