Friday, October 27, 2006

media agency: the next endangered species?

i used to work in media department earlier and media agency later for the last 16 years.
big agencies, big names, big money. fair enough.
but since i left the agency, 6 month ago, i begin to look at them in a more disenchanted way.
results (with some exception, indeed)?

- no big changes in all these years
- money comes mostly from buying and not from strategy or planning
- in some countries, money comes part from client and part from media owners
- no real standing to say to a client don't go on tv (e.g.) or challenge him/her on strategic approach
- no real standing to tell to a client that the agency job is worth more than the miserable commission paid on average

media agencies had the great chance, around mid 90s, to become the real comunication center and this because they had in their hands the research on target definition. but the focus went on the commission to be paid for planning and buying. so they became a commodity and commodities are choosen by their price.

now with a media scenario more and more fragmented, new media already on stage and other probably to come shortly, again there is a chance for media agency to evolve from this commodity position.

the future of media agency may be in shift the buying into separated entity and keep in house the strategic process. becoming think tank they can leave the commodity area and negotiate a fee for buying and a remuneration for the strategy and planning.

will they grab it or will they be the next outsourcing service?


Gavin Heaton said...

Too true! There is now a turning point starting to emerge. I don't know whether this will change the way that traditional agencies work ... or whether it will just allow a new form of agency to rise.

Interesting times!

gianandrea said...

gavin, thanks for your comment. in my opinion another issue media agency are facing is the ownership. they are all part of financial agglomerate not willing to risk to loose a single dollar. any future change may take place when they see new players getting into the playground and stealing clients.

CK said...

Excellent piece. Indeed your spankin' new blog is coming along. This is an area ripe for discussion as there haven't been changes and the current way isn't working.

Keep us informed on this subject, it will be interesting to watch the agency space and just what happens over the next 36 months.

gianandrea said...

ck, this is definetely an area where we could see enormous change in the next months. and where we will see if the marketers in media are as good at sell themselves, too.
b.t.w. i hope you had the chance to see the ad about obesitity i just posted.

CK said...

Yep, I caught the ad. Very good. It's more compelling to "show" vs." tell, isn't it?

Keep up with this media agencies issue...could make for a great "focus series" for your blog (can't help it, I'm a marketer so coming up with new programs is just my way). Plus, the focus would draw a lot of readers from the ad agencies, too.

gianandrea said...

i'm on the track to write some other insights on media agency and related world. i'm keen to generate traffic on this blog.