Ad Execs Viewing Media More As A 'Quality' Than A Commodity

While a number of recent trends in media-buying -- including the ascendance of procurement and shifts to machine-based programmatic buying -- may have appeared to have shifted industry perceptions of the value of media as more of a commodity than a "quality," a new study from consultant ID Communications indicates it has actually moved in the other direction over the past couple of years.

Specifically, significantly more advertiser and agency executives now "strongly believe" those who view media as a quality have a competitive advantage over those who view it as a commodity.

Interestingly, the study -- which surveyed an international panel of media, marketing and procurement executives in December 2020 -- found that advertisers and agencies are in lockstep on that sentiment (see chart below).

While the report does not explain the recent shift, including whether it is a rebound from so-called "race-to-bottom" concerns about the commoditization of media, it does show there is a broad consensus that media may have as much of a strategic advantage as any other aspect of the marketing mix.



“Media can be as strategic as any form of advertising and has moved well beyond its legacy baggage as a commodity buy," said one anonymous advertiser quoted in the report.

“Given the size, complexity and share of marketing spend -- plus the potential revenue of media to the business -- anyone that does not regard it as a quality buy is not in the right position," said another.

3 comments about "Ad Execs Viewing Media More As A 'Quality' Than A Commodity".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 12, 2021 at 12:51 p.m.

    That's a rather odd statement in the second to last paragraph. "Media can be as strategic as any form of advertising and has moved  well beyond its legacy baggage as a commodity buy", said one unnamed advertiser. What does this mean? Is "media" a form of "advertising" ---"the medium is the message?"---or is media how one reaches consumers with advertising messages? As for the term, "commodity" are we referring to the quality of the medium's content or its audience? Or do we mean whether the audience is targeted or untargeted---any viewer or reader counts equally?  Or are we saying that if we find a way to reach a consumer who is more likely to be receptive to our ad, said consumer is no longer a commodity but now deserves the label---a "quality" viewer?As is the case with most of these studies, one wonders exactly what the respondents were thinking when providing answers as well as what they were referring to---the types of media, the types of ad campaigns, etc.

  2. E.B. Moss from Moss Appeal replied, February 15, 2021 at 12:53 p.m.

    Agree. And am also trying to wrap my head around "a Quality" -- as in a noun....? We should "ideate" around that....

  3. Glenn Hansen from BPA Worldwide, February 20, 2021 at 4:09 p.m.

    Ed, I agree. I was puzzled by the same. 
    My take, was maybe the respondents were thinking of media in the form of Native Advertising, or maybe when media reports on an issue for which a company has a solution, the media is then seen as strategic, in effect a tactic; a tool to highlight the problem for which their is a solution thus supporting the marketers' goal of selling the solution. I think this is very true in B2B.

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