Centro Commissioned Study to Examine Digital Media Buying Convergence and Its Implications; 75% of Agencies Are Starting to Unify Direct and Programmatic Buying Teams
Centro, a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising, today published data on marketing agencies’ growing interest in converging direct and programmatic media buying teams. Available in “Digital Media Buying Converges,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Centro, the data shows that three-quarters of agencies have already started to create some form of partnership between these media buying teams, with only 17% having fully converged operations. Forrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations.
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Unifying digital media buying for both direct and programmatic is a multi-faceted challenge. It involves finding the right technology; recruiting and training a team; developing standard processes; and building a collaborative business culture. In May 2018, Forrester Consulting surveyed 104 U.S. media buying decision makers whose companies spend $1 million or more in digital ads annually to gauge their progress in converged media buying. The survey found that in catalyzing this type of change:
- More agencies have made technological (81%) and personnel (80%) changes, compared to designing new processes (72%), or engraining it in their business culture (62%); while only 17% have achieved total convergence.
- Data silos, people skills, and operations are identified as the top challenges in innovating digital media buying practices.
- Client retention, new business opportunities and improved media campaign performance are the top perceived results correlated to digital media buying convergence.
- An overwhelming majority of ad buyers (80%) believe that training existing talent is the most likely way they would build personnel resources for unified buying.
According to the study: “Agencies must embody innovation as they compete both with each other and with the increasing viability of in-sourcing among their clients. To do so, agencies must find new and better ways of delivering value to their clients. In response, agencies are evolving towards the integration and unification of their direct and programmatic media buying teams. They are looking to remain competitive by breaking down silos, fostering collaboration, and ultimately optimizing the efficiency and performance of their clients’ campaigns.”
Forrester Consulting examined responses from professionals in advertising and/or marketing agencies to explore how their firms are approaching digital media buying convergence and the impact this is having on their overall business. The resulting study shows that:
- Agencies see many benefits in connecting their media buying practices.
- Agencies indicated that they will rely on tools that help them buy more holistically across channels and deliver a unified view of data across their internal siloes.
- To acquire talent that aligns with this business change, the majority of respondents say they will train existing staff, although two-thirds of agencies also plan to hire new talent from outside, and 57% plan to supplement existing skills with third-party or outsourced talent.
“The digital agency of the future has no silos, where media buying across all channels happens seamlessly and through one strategic lens. Many agencies are recognizing the benefits of working towards this vision,” said Katie Risch, EVP of customer experience, Centro. “To accelerate this evolution and greatly enhance an agency’s ability to perform, business leaders need robust, turn-key technology that bridges the gap between direct and programmatic buying disciplines.”
Centro is a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising organizations. Its technology platform, Basis, is the first of its kind SaaS advertising solution unifying programmatic and direct media buying, along with workflow automation, cross-channel campaign planning, universal reporting, and business intelligence. It boosts media, team and business performance by enabling advertisers to plan, buy and analyze real-time bidding (RTB), direct, search and social campaigns in a single platform.