IPG’s UM worldwide is to be named as a leader in The Forrester Wave: Global Media Agencies, Q2 2020 report. The latter gave the highest rating to agencies that used data platforms to improve media execution and ad creatives and created an integrated and centralized experience for the customers.
UM worldwide led 10 media agencies for the evaluation. In order to qualify for the report, each agency requires $10 billion in yearly billing and employ more than 6000 employees.
Forrester principal analyst Jay Pattisall said UM aces the Forrester Media Agency Wave due to its Kinesso offering, its first Axicom based business. It uses data services for typical insights and now applying to develop content for digital ad campaigns, identify audiences, and target content to audiences in a precise way.
Forrester on UM Worldwide :
“Clients like UM for its application of emerging technologies, its partnership with agencies and publishers, and its data technology strategy. We like the agency’s emphasis on business analytics for decisioning and its future-forward approach to crafting data-informed, Hollywood-caliber content that generates new revenue streams for clients.”
Other strong contenders that also scored as leaders are Omnicom’s OMD, Publicis’ Starcom, and Dentsu’s Carat. Meanwhile, WPP agencies MediaCom, Mindshare, and Wavemaker scored well in execution in order to be placed in the next ‘best strong performer’ section but trailed behind Omnicom’s PHD, Publicis’ Zenith and Havas Media Group in the strategy section.
Jay Pattisall did not support the WPP media agencies’ decentralized approach and said,
‘My judgment is that a more centralized structure is more beneficial at this stage.’
Creativity partnership with media
‘Precision creative’ is becoming a core and critical competency among media agencies -where they create multiple versions of an ad to distribute to a highly targeted audience.
For instance, one agency used data to create a feature-length documentary called “5B,” and promoted it with paid promotions to ensure that it reaches the right audience. This shows that creativity lives inside media agencies or are closely partnered. Pattisall commented,
“Because of their ability to work with data platforms, technology, machine learning, and AI, the content [media agencies] create now is heavily data-driven.”
Programmatic is the new way
Forrester combined programmatic into media agencies’ overall buying competency. Today, everything is moving towards programmatic including digital and emerging areas like addressable TV.
One of the criteria for the report was to evaluate how the agencies used private marketplaces(PMP) to curate inventory and target appropriate inventory to the client and see the impact of the tactics on waste and fraud.
Data and identity
Many agency data platforms are moving towards integration however, few still relied on some form of third party data. Therefore, media agencies are required to work along with the client to build first-party data. Pattisall said,
“It’s a changing world with privacy and tech companies’ approach to cookie deprecation, so they will need to continue to innovate to stay at the forefront of that.”
Having data on identity and audience will be beneficial for the media agencies to bring data-driven creatives to the forefront of their centralized offering. Pattisall added, “Scaling creative content with audience data is something I know [brands] desire.”
The way to the future for media agencies is a simplified offering that includes technology, media, and creativity.