The partnership between an advertiser and its media agency is one of the most important in business. Get it right, and it can be truly transformational, building both long-term brand value and assets while at the same time taking advantage of short-term opportunities for sales activation. The tell-tale signs that all may not be rosy in this vital partnership feature in a new Viewpoint paper from Ebiquity, the world leader in media investment analysis.
Do any of the following ring true with you?
- The process is too long, too involved, and too complex. Reviewing an incumbent media agency’s performance and benchmarking that against alternatives feels like wading through quicksand. Everyone dreads a review because it consumes unsustainable quantities of time, energy, and resource – on both the advertiser AND the media agency side.
- You’re way too focused on cost over value. Brands – often encouraged by procurement and some of the more short-termism, short-sighted advisers in this market – have focused heavily on cost at the exclusion of other criteria. Always looking to drive down cost has inevitably commoditised media agency services, making agency selection a race to the bottom and “cheapest price wins”. Agencies don’t want to be measured on cost alone.
- Quantity comes before quality. One important consequence of the focus on cost is that the media inventory delivered by a “low cost per rating point (CPRP) wins” approach is almost inevitably of lower quality. Not only does media spend invested on a lowest-cost basis tend to be fragmented across the long tail. It is also much more likely to be lower quality, subject to fraudulent impressions from bots, and not brand-safe.
- You suspect that you’re subject to inventive agency trading practices. The rapid pace of innovation in the digital media market – not to mentioned advertisers’ FOMO – encouraged some media agencies to develop creative and inventive trading practices. The poster child was undisclosed programmatic media, which delivered inventory to advertisers at high margins for the agencies. The catch-all category of “inventory media” is rapidly developing a similarly shady and negative reputation.
To make the process fit-for-purpose once more, Ebiquity’s new Viewpoint paper sets out an eight-point plan designed to make it lighter, nimbler, and less resource intensive. This requires both brands and agencies to shift their focus from cost reduction to value creation. To create a refreshed system that is equitable for all parties involved – enabling the advertiser-agency bond to reclaim the status of a mutually-profitable partnership – Ebiquity’s media experts recommend:
Download your copy of the new Ebiquity Viewpoint paper, Reimagining Agency Selection, here.