Marketing, Media Pros Not Masters Of Their Tech Domains

Around 25% of brands now claim to be using media technology effectively, an increase of 10% in the last two-and-a-half years, according to new research by media consultancy ID Comms.

The findings are based on a global survey of 190 senior executives at brands and agencies with advertiser respondents accounting for more than $20 billion in global ad spend. Agency respondents represented all major holding groups, as well as key independent agencies.  

Agencies are more positive about advertiser performance with 41% of respondents suggesting that advertisers are using technology “effectively,” an increase of 17% versus 2017, the last time ID Comms conducted similar research.

No advertiser respondents claimed to be using media technology “very effectively,” according to the study, titled The 2020 Global Media Technology Report. And just 14% of marketers claim to understand “extremely well or very well” how each technology platform in the marketing stack contributes to the value chain.



The rest of those surveyed rate their understanding as moderate or worse and, somewhat disturbingly, the scores are the lowest among media professionals — just 9% score themselves “extremely well or very well” versed in the intricacies of the stack.

Whoa, isn’t it their job to know that stuff? You’d think so.

And if you’re the client, how are you supposed to exercise proper stewardship over the process if you don’t know what’s going on?

The answer, apparently, is to rely on outside consultants. The report found that advertisers “remain convinced” that technology and management consultants are best placed to provide advice.   

Ninety-four percent of respondents agree that the most successful advertisers understand the impact of marketing technology and have a clear strategy for ensuring it adds value. And yet it sounds like a lot of those respondents are winging it. Too much on their plates, I guess.  

But 86% of advertisers agree their inability to keep up with the rapid evolution of the tech landscape has made them overdependent on solutions provided by their agencies.  

And given the lack of mastery on both sides, it sounds like a major outbreak of the blind leading the blind.  

“This really is a critical area for marketers, media professionals and procurement teams to get to grips with,” commented Paul Stringer, consultant at ID Comms. 

That sounds about right. 

But hey, what’s the rush? By some accounts, the industry is wasting half its advertising today just like it was 100 years ago.


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