Report Finds Advertisers Insufficiently Trained, Should Have A 'Chief Media Officer'

The vast majority of ad executives perceive the level of media training for advertisers to be either somewhat or entirely unsatisfactory, according to findings of the 2022 Global Media Training Report, released this morning by ID Comms.

The findings, which the consultancy said are "in line with" previous studies conducted in 2016 and 2019, indicate that little progress has been made in media training, despite the increasingly complexity of the media marketplace.

"Lack of budget" was the No. 1 reason cited for under-investing in media training, followed by "an inability to find the right training opportunities," and committing time to media training, according to the report.

"The fastest-growing area of training is the demand for addressing capability gaps in ad tech and martech (42% in 2022 vs. 26% in 2019)," the report also found, citing it as the single most important area for "capability building."



Respondents also cited a need for training in how media agencies work, as well as a need for improved advertiser capabilities in running media pitches.

Despite a perceived lack of budget, most respondents cited the need for their organizations' to create and staff a Chief Media Officer role.

5 comments about "Report Finds Advertisers Insufficiently Trained, Should Have A 'Chief Media Officer'".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 5, 2022 at 9:49 a.m.

    Odd-----as most traditional TV advertisers have a media exec and, often, a staff which works with the agencies, monitors their media planning and buying performance, signs off on media buys, and coordinates with the brand managers, CMOs etc. So who are these "advertisers who operate without such an exec? Are they small,  mom and pop, local advertisers---forget about it. Or are they the search  and DR folks---again, forget about it.

    As for "training" advertiser brand managers ----and CMOs ?---- to be better versed about media, I certainly agree---but who does the "training"? And how will you get the brand people to attend such training sessions---at gun point?

    The only real way to"train" client marketing people about "media"  is at the outset, when they are young and just starting out. How?  By putting them in a big agency media department for about six months or a year in those planning groups that work on the brand's business. But how do you orchestrate such a move---and who pay for it?

    Of course, one might approach several companies that offer "media schools" and have them set up a special media training course that is tailored for your needs---with sessions---including work sessions-----that require attendance---and grading---every week for 13 weeks. If the "student" fails, he/she has to undertake the course again. Can anyone see that happening?

    While we are at it, what about "training" agency media people---planners and, especially buyers--- about how marketing works----from brand positioning and "creative" development to evaluating sales results, melding in promotional activities,distribution attainment,  R&D, ad impact research, etc.? In my book, that is also a pressing need but one that I don't see happening, either.

  2. Bill Duggan from ANA, July 5, 2022 at 11:36 a.m.

    Six years ago, ANA published our findings on media transparency (i.e., the K2 Intelligence report) and then released “Media Transparency: Prescriptions, Principles and Processes for Advertisers” from ANA and Ebiquity/FirmDecisions. One of the key recommendations there was that advertisers should appoint a chief media officer (either in title or function). That person would then take responsibility for the internal media management and governance processes that deliver performance, media accountability, and transparency throughout the client/agency relationship. On the most fundamental level, the chief media officer should drive the media strategy, partner with external agencies, and work with third-party suppliers to optimize the media mix and maximize ROI. This executive would be the centralized internal resource to drive integration and share best practices across internal brand teams and external agencies. The chief media officer would be the internal subject matter expert on the many important and complex media issues confronting advertisers today. While there has been some progress in this role being established, we’d like to see more companies embrace the position of chief media officer.

  3. Lars Hyman from Initiative replied, July 5, 2022 at 3:24 p.m.

    Hello Ed-

    Your reputation precedes you as an industry leader who helped transform media planning and buying from the back office to the front office . That is almost where we are with training--it is back office, an after thought, a nice to have, a cursory venture at best.

    This survey highlights a very important issue. The future is at stake here. We are at risk for forever losing out on the understanding on 'why' and 'how' things work. We've lost our way-years ago we had the P&G, the Y&R, the BBDO, the Coca-Cola training programs to create accreditation. We aspire to get that back.

    Experienced and trained media centers of excellence marketing-side is not a standard. In fact, many $100MM+ and some $500MM+ spenders rely on a media planning and buying agency to help educate. Marketing teams lack resources to keep pace with a rapid changing landscape.

    A Chief Media Officer is a partial solution. A more complete solution is to pair a Chief Media Officer with a media planning and buying agency. Media agencies often lead innovation, have the skills, the tools, and the experience. They can supply Chief Media Officers with a front-row view for the new and emerging. And they have people who are natural teachers and educators.

    Thus, to answer your question on "who will train?" media agencies leading new ways of doing things better can take on that challenge no problem.

    But we do need to improve how we quantify the value of media training for ourselves and marketers. Some possible examples of what I mean by this are things like 1. knowledge gap or capability indices, 2. certification counts, or 3. sharpened higher ROI driven media plans. Media Agencies can take a leadership position to create the value equation.

    Industry Leadership can help by inspiring training as an individual personal growth initiative. They can create a core value out of continuous learning & development. They can help create the time and resources needed. They can help scope training in as an imperative to mission success. Training initiatives done right need proper investment and space.

    This issue is not changing anytime soon unless we continue to shine a light. We need to ask what we want as an industry 5-10-15 years from now. Training people for the future is essential to industry growth. It is a requisite, a privilege and an art. Combining forces across cross functional teams and creating & measuring value are critical.

    Front office--get ready...

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 5, 2022 at 5:13 p.m.

    Thanks, Lars.

    I wish you were right---really. But what I see is a continuing shunning of the "media" function at most advertisers where brand management is concerned. Sure, the more sophisticated branding advertisers have media directors and staffs--as I've described. But they have very little input where media planning is concerned---the typical attidude at the CMO/brand manager level being, "Hey, it's our money, we'll decide what media to use". Which leaves the media execs mainly to oversee the buying process at the agencies as well as fending off numerous media sales rep visits so they wont "pester" the brand people.

    I think that this is a shame and a terrible disconnect at a time when there is so much more that can be done on the media planning and buying side than in my day. 

    As to your suggestion that the big media agencies are best qualified to do the much needed 'training" I agree---but it's difficult to imagine how that would work with the media agency "training" its chief client about media. That sets up all sorts of issues, not the least of which is the political problem of the client media chief---and staff----getting "in bed" with their "teachers"---or seeming to. What will the brand people think if their media execs sides with the agency all too often?

    I mauntain that a well thought out course created by an independent organization is a better ----and more salable---approach for teaching the evolving nuances of modern media planning and buying to advertiser execs---but my real targets would be the CMOs and brand managers not just the media folks on the advertiser side and these companies must be the ones who pay---not the agencies.

    How does one get the ball rolling? I would think that an independent group---with  real experts on its team----would develop a plan---and a course---and try to sell it to major advertisers---one company at a time---or, failing that, by category of advertisers---automotive, packaged goods, etc. ---modifying the course as seems necessary in each case. If that  started----just once--- and was successful, the word would certainly get out and we might be on our way. At last.

  5. John Grono from GAP Research, July 5, 2022 at 10:01 p.m.

    Does anybody else think it odd that the responses to the question(s) that resulted in the "Perceived investment in advertiser media training" graph were " Entirely Unsatisfactory", "Somewhat Unsatisfactory", "and "Neither Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory".    Did any of the respondents have an option of "Somewhat Satisfactory" or "Entirely Satisfactory".

    It appears that respondents had no way to express 'Satisfaction'.

    It reminds me of a research questionnaire tutorial when I was at University.    We were told to design a survey that would reveal that 100% of Australian married males were wife-bashers - clearly an absurd hypothesis and result.   And yes, with the professors help we were able to come up with it ... statistically correct, but utter research crap.  And don't start me on an n=45 survey.

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