It’s reasonable to expect that different media agency leaders may value certain characteristics over others. However, when it comes to the ideal media agency, the market has spoken.
A brief look at the results of global research shows that a media agency’s knowledge of the market, clients and brand and its strategic planning ability are usually the two attributes that puts it on the marketer’s map.
In South Africa, however, media planning expertise is almost as important as market knowledge, followed by creativity and innovation to form the trinity of media agency characteristics most valued.
AGENCY SCOPE’s Media Trends Report discussed requirements with 172 marketers who work with media agencies and found account service, the use of tools and data for research purposes, and good media negotiations followed the top three attributes to form a clear picture of what makes a media agency ideal.
Interestingly, new business is most often generated by agencies that have an innovative approach and create a specific ad-hoc proposal for the client. These proactive agencies are more likely to get the nod from a business or brand leader than those who rely on their reputation as a prestigious agency.
Street smarts and cents spent
Obviously, the most experienced media specialists generally follow specific steps when they plan a media buy, but as the media landscape changes so rapidly and new channels are added, it is the “street smart” media agency that is looking more attractive – particularly with budget constraints that mean every cent spent must create value.
The bottom line in choosing an ideal media agency really is a mix of requirements, with overall ‘knowledge’ taking the lead. Those agencies able to customise specific strategies per client to ensure the delivery of quantifiable results within budget are those who will rise to the top as the world comes out of a life-changing few months and embraces a market with new expectations.
It’s also vital to note that media agencies that use robust research in their communications with agencies get noticed. This, too, makes sense for budgetary and negotiation strategies, where data is valued in decision making.
Johanna McDowell, CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) and SCOPEN partner.
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