I have worked in marketing and media since I was a young pup, and if I got a doggy biscuit every time a client moaned about their media agency I would be very, very fat. I now have an irrational hatred of media agencies as much as I do my local Postie.
Here are the 5 reasons why I hate Media Agencies!
5) The Bots are stealing your budget
Digital advertising has recently overtaken TV advertising. This makes sense as we spend more time now interacting with our computers, tablets, and mobiles, than staring at our TVs. However, the biggest issue in digital advertising is that of viewable impressions. Unsurprisingly Clients only want to pay for ads that are seen by real people. However it’s estimated that in 2015, $6.3 billion worth of digital advertising will be seen by bots rather people.
4) The kids are not alright
The biggest client complaint I hear is that increasingly media agencies are employing a lot more young, inexperienced staff to cut costs and maintain their juicy margins. According to a survey I buried my snout into a couple of years ago, 50% of media agency staff are under 30. I better the average age is even younger now. While it’s important to get the kids involved, you still need the experienced folk too who actually know what they’re doing.
3) Big and Lazy
“Use last year’s media plan” is probably the most overused phrase in media land. The recycling of media plans from one year to the next, from one client to another, is probably less common in this increasingly complex digital media landscape than it used to be, but still goes on. Plus I am not the only one who thinks Media Agencies have become lazy.
2) Big and arrogant
As part of the globalisation of marketing communications, media agencies have grown in size and scope. However, 3 media agencies control 66% of the UK advertising market. Their size has made them powerful and sometimes power creates arrogance.
1) Money, Money, Money!
“You need to spend more money on TV” is the Media Agency answer to every client question. Media agencies have always performed the best of all agency disciplines when it comes to profitability. They are very good at making money for themselves.
By the way, now the answer to every client question is probably ‘you need to spend more money programmatic buying’.
In defence of media agencies, life has got tougher over the last 10 years and maybe clients have to accept they get the media agencies they deserve. If you push too hard on fees, then don’t moan about getting junior staff on your account.
I think most of the problems I take issue with are due to the way media agencies are rewarded. The bigger the media spend, the more money they get. Therefore their incentive is always to increase media budgets rather than spend current budgets better. We need to change the focus from size of budget to quality of delivery.