The first Forrester Wave™ on global media agencies reveals the category-adding technology, services, and capabilities to leap beyond conventional media planning and buying. Media agencies are beginning to transform into media consultancies. However, who’s leading might surprise you.

The Conventional Approach Of The Media Agency Is Deteriorating

Media agencies are no longer just media planning and buying partners that wield buying power as a primary benefit. Why? Media services are no longer the exclusive domain of agencies. Programmatic and other advertising technology levels the playing field several degrees, giving agencies, brands, and consultancies the opportunity to control reach and frequency. Media sellers Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others create direct relationships between brands and their customers. Now, disputes between brands and agencies over rates, discounts, and fees leave openings for in-house and consultancy competitors to swoop in.

Media Consultancies Emerge From The Convergence Of Media And Commerce

As a result of the equalizing effects of technology, digital innovations, and battles over security and transparency, a new breed of media partner is emerging: media consultancies who are crafting combinations of technology, data services, strategy, and consulting practices to drive performance marketing and brand content. Agencies that can provide business intelligence, the acumen to apply it, and deploy leading technologies will position themselves to successfully deliver CMOs the growth that they demand. To help their clients take full advantage of the collision of commerce and media, the best global media agency can:

  • Solve complex marketing and business problems. By standing up consulting-style engagement, including business intelligence groups and Agile development teams, this new class of media agency can help clients solve business problems before they apply the media execution.
  • Distill sophisticated data analytics into usable intelligence. All global agencies have invested in data analytics and business intelligence capabilities. Converting insights into tangible objectives, execution, and optimization is paramount.
  • Enhance their holding companies’ technology platforms and resources. The best global agencies are not only leveraging their holding companies’ tech stacks, people-based platforms and, in some cases, exclusive data access, but they are also integrating their agencies’ proprietary processes and tools.

Every CMO at every brand must adjust to consumers avoiding advertising, customers’ heightened expectations, and the rising cost of marketing. Consequently, CMOs are under pressure to deliver more informed, effective, and relevant media campaigns. These campaigns must abandon their sole reliance on broadcast media to target mass demographics and should move to an omnichannel approach that pinpoints appropriate moments in actual consumers’ lives. The new personalized frontier requires a media partner that’s more consultative, more transparent, nimbler, and no longer reliant on buying power only. “The Forrester Wave™: Global Media Agencies, Q3 2018” is a good start to understand the changing landscape and the top players to consider.