Advertisers slam broken agency model in Infectious Media study, but agencies play a role in a hybrid future.
• 71% of advertisers believe agencies have struggled to adapt to programmatic
• 84% want greater control over programmatic advertising
• Agencies still have a role to play – with 96% of advertisers predicting a hybrid model
Advertisers believe agencies have failed to adapt to programmatic and that there should be a radical overhaul of the agency model, according to new research from international programmatic agency, Infectious Media.
The study, which involved a survey of more than 200 decision-making marketers with programmatic remits in EMEA, APAC or North America, found 71% of advertisers believe media agencies have struggled to adapt to programmatic.
Some 74% also said agencies don’t fully report financial data, 73% claimed agencies do not accurately measure programmatic, while 57% believe agencies find it difficult to reduce ad fraud.
The complexity of the supply chain was also an issue for advertisers, with 66% claiming they lacked control over their relationship with publishers and 66% saying there were too many middlemen taking margin without adding any benefit.
Just over half of those interviewed (53%) believe this is the result of agencies being untrustworthy.
The hybrid model of the future
Despite wanting more control from programmatic and seeing the agency model as broken, advertisers believe agencies will play a valuable role in the future, with 96% saying agencies should manage multiple aspects of programmatic advertising going forward.
However, 86% also said they would manage some aspects of programmatic in-house in the future too, suggesting a hybrid relationship is set to become the norm.
Larger advertisers had the greatest appetite for in-housing, with almost half (49%) saying they would like to bring strategic planning in-house, and manage relationships with publisher data and inventory themselves.
While this desire to in-house was partly driven by a lack of transparency (68%) and control (65%), the availability of more qualified staff in-house (71%) and advances in DSPs and DMPs (69%) were the more significant drivers.
Martin Kelly, Infectious Media CEO and co-founder, said: “The extent to which brands want greater control and believe agencies have struggled to adapt to programmatic should be a wake-up call for our industry. Advertisers could – and should – begin demanding a better deal, which means revisiting contracts and inserting audit clauses, or switching to partners that grant full data access. For agencies, there’s an urgent need to proactively address advertisers’ concerns by offering full transparency and working with partners that can effectively guard against the full spectrum of ad fraud.
“Even with all the criticism being levelled at agencies around transparency and fraud, our research shows advertisers still see them playing a valuable role. However, agencies will need to adopt a more flexible, hybrid approach that caters for advertisers’ specific requirements as well as their desire for greater control over their digital advertising. This will be crucial if agencies are to build a more effective and sustainable working relationship with brands in the future.”
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