A new World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) study released earlier this week has found that major multinationals are now using an increasingly expanding array of services from independent media advisors.

As the industry landscape has changed over the last couple of years, we at Ebiquity have also observed brands’ needs quickly evolving, with increasing desire for brands to engage across a range of topics, including contract compliance, agency selection and management, programmatic advertising, marketing analytics, and a wide variety of critical digital topics.

The new WFA report confirmed this trend: that many large advertisers are increasingly seeking independent marketing and performance services going well beyond classic price and media auditing.

The key findings of the report are:

  • While services are broadening, 9 out of 10 advertiser respondents used media auditing and price benchmarking, demonstrating that this remains a key pillar within independent media advisory services. Furthermore, 70% agree that ‘auditing is an indispensable means of establishing an objective view of media value’. We remain the biggest advisor in this space, used by 58% of respondents, with Accenture Media Management used by 38%.
  • 75% of respondents now use independent advisors for contract compliance auditing and verification. Our contract compliance offering FirmDecisions has 53% of the market share.
  • Strong agreement from clients (73% agree), agencies (92%) and advisors (87%) that ‘the industry needs to move away from outmoded media price judgments to focus on value-based assessments’.
  • Nearly all clients (96%) agree that ‘digital media requires a different assessment methodology to offline media’, and agencies and advisors feel the same way.
  • Media analytics and consultancy-level services are increasingly in demand, with technology selection and implementation being ‘more important’ for at least 60% of client respondents.
  • In a reflection of the need of many multinationals to ‘transform’ their marketing departments, the report highlighted that other areas where advisors are playing a key role include internal organisational design for media, plus external agency ecosystem design; nearly 70% of advertisers have sought support for agency management and help ensuring that agency solutions satisfy the requirements of global stakeholders.

This comprehensive report surveyed 56 advertisers, representing companies spending more than $90bn in annual marketing spend, and included input from all media agency groups and most advisor companies.

For more information on the report, visit the WFA website.