Forrester: Media Agency Groups Taking Steps To 'Fend Off Looming In-House Threat'

The Forrester agency coverage team, led by Jay Pattisall, is out with some bold Adland predictions for 2020. 

The market research firm believes the major media group holding companies will centralize their operations and more actively consolidate their buying power, in part to fend off “the looming in-house threat.” 

In the third quarter alone, GroupM, IPG Mediabrands and MDC Media Partners have installed new leaders “each with a history of aggregating and building capacity.” 

Meshing and scaling technology, data and agency assets at the group level, Forrester asserts, will boost buying clout. The goal is to "corner the programmatic market with digital-buying prowess, bringing clients advanced inventory at preferred rates.” 



Client media in-housing grew sharply (nearly 30%) this year, according to IHAF/Forrester.

“In 2020, we predict a third of in-house agencies will include media operations that control substantial portions of the paid media budget.” The benefit there, per Forrester, is “the promise of greater transparency, efficiency and control.” 

“Automation will reshape the agency workforce,” Forrester predicts. “But not without sacrifice.” AI and automation will transform 80% of agency jobs in the next decade. As early as next year, staffers in production, project management, account management, strategy and creative “will see many of their responsibilities automated via workflow technologies, planning/activation platforms, and dynamic creative engines powered by automation.” 

Personalized campaigns that are customized with efficiency and scale will continue to grow, thanks in part to creative adtech platforms like Celtra, Jivox and Revjet. 

If Forrester is on target, it looks like the industry can expect more of the same: a lot of change.

The firm sums it up this way: “2020 will be the year that agencies upgrade and deliver more synchronized, impactful campaigns and experiences. As the industry pursues seamless operations and commercial impact, we expect agencies to finally disassemble what remains of their outmoded model and reassemble centralized structures and new capabilities strengthened by scaled data technology and creativity.” 

CMOs are looking for meaningful impact from their agency programs — and results haven’t met expectations in recent years, Forrester concludes. “Every agency is feeling the existential pressure of that reality.”


1 comment about "Forrester: Media Agency Groups Taking Steps To 'Fend Off Looming In-House Threat'".
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  1. George Parker from Parker Consultants, October 31, 2019 at 8:58 a.m.

    The in-house threat is no longer a threat, it is a reality. Back in my Mad Man days, working in-house was a refuge for the under talented. As I have posted many times on AdScam, now the very best creative talent is leaving ad agencies and going in-house. The holding companies have only themselves to blame, because this is what happens when you are run by bean counters whose main concern is the quarterly numbers, rather than the quality and effectivness of the end product.
    Cheers/George "AdScam" Parker

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