Conceived in 2015 as an industry survey, both as a barometer of, and forecast for change, Media 2020 is an in-depth study into how marketers are preparing their organisation to win in the future media ecosystem. Refreshed in 2017 and now updated for 2019, Media 2020 & Beyond combines industry leader interviews with a global survey of senior marketers – the findings are essential reading for CMOs, Marketing Directors and Digital teams.
In our first wave of research in 2015, many brands were starting out on their digital transformation journey – bringing in specialists and organising teams to deliver customer-centric marketing and communications. In 2017 brands were taking control of their data, strategy and agency relationships. Now, in 2019 it’s apparent that the evolution continues, but with an even greater proliferation of media operating models being pursued as brands find the structures and relationships that work their business. A new set of challenges are emerging, this time more human than technological.
The marketing organisation is now in a permanent state of change.
66% of brands are actively looking to reorganise their internal model for marketing and 61% of brands are planning to reorganise their agency operating model. All brands recognise they need to become faster and more agile to grow in the face of new competition from disruptors. D2C brands are adapting more naturally than FMCG brands to a more fragmented and performance-driven media ecosystem.
Brands, Agencies and Platforms are all competing for the same “T-shaped” talent.
Brands recognise that improving their internal and external media capability is now a critical priority. As brands recruit more specialists in areas such as performance marketing, data analytics and programmatic media, they are fishing in the same talent pool as their agencies. Brand marketing teams are increasingly mirroring their agencies, and signalling they intend to bring strategy and planning functions in-house too, relegating agencies to a more executional role.
In-housing is gaining momentum, but insourcing the media function looks set to remain a minority pursuit.
A significant majority of brands are planning to bring more media functions in-house, but a minority (27%) intend to do their own programmatic buying and even less (17%) are considering insourcing media buying. Our research finds that, for media insourcing to be considered, brands must meet five key criteria and, for insourcing to succeed, brands must overcome ten key challenges. The pioneering insourcing brands still retain media agency partners.
As brands experiment with their own media operating model, five relationship archetypes are emerging.
The vast majority of brands will take in-housing to an intermediate level which equips their organisation with the level of control and agility that fits with their culture and capability. We discovered five different archetypes: Natural Insourcers, Adaptive Insourcers, Elective Collaborators, Natural Collaborators and Committed Outsourcers. Brands are more likely to move in increments along this spectrum than jump from one extreme to another.
Agencies are re-modelling their workforce in favour of specialist services as the holding company model loses favour.
Agencies will act more like technology companies to head off in-sourcing.
Performance marketing is becoming a zero-sum game and marketing needs a re-set.
Compared to previous surveys, fewer brands (38%) are now prioritising performance marketing over long-term brand building. The consensus is that there has been too much focus on the technical and operational, aided and abetted by the technology platforms, which has led to a deficit in focus on strategy and communications planning. Most brands will adopt a more unified approach across brand and performance media.
The advancement in media best practice is being held hostage by the industry’s failure to bring quality and standards to measurement.
Measurement has continually featured as a problem in Media 2020 surveys, and this year has become the number one issue keeping brand owners awake at night. The industry needs to urgently address its failure to create an interoperable media ecosystem - an existential stumbling block which will deter brands from investing in more relevant, dynamic and effective advertising.