NEWS9 September 2021

Capability gaps creating measurement challenges for advertisers

Automotive FMCG Finance Media News Privacy Technology UK

UK – Media is growing in importance, but advertising leaders are facing challenges due to ‘capability gaps’ in areas including measurement, transparency and data privacy, according to research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

Two piles of wooden blocks, each topped by a wooden figure, separated by a gap

The study, conducted in conjunction with Ebiquity, interviewed 52 global media leaders from a mix of sectors including alcohol, automotive, financial services, FMCG, healthcare, luxury and technology.

It found that the majority of respondents ( 81%) believe that media will occupy greater strategic prominence than it has in the past.

The report explored ‘capability gaps’ – areas where advertisers’ satisfaction with their current approach falls short of the level of importance it has been assigned by them.

This was calculated by the percentage points difference between respondents who were satisfied by their performance and those who believed the issue was important.

The biggest gap for marketers was e-commerce and shoppable media, at 57%, with none of the respondents ‘very satisfied’ with their current capabilities in these areas.

The second biggest gap, at 51%, was for media measurement, attribution and marketing mix modelling, as the majority ( 94%) of respondents said they believe this will be very important or important in the coming years.

When it comes to media transparency, there is a gap of 49%. Over nine in 10 marketers surveyed ( 91%) said that this will be very important or important over the next three or four years, while 43% are satisfied with their organisation’s current capabilities.

There is also a capability gap of 36% in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) area, which includes data privacy, according to the research.

Matt Green, director, global media services at the WFA, said: “Considering the privacy-first transition the digital media industry is going through, which is seeing core functionality eroded, it’s not surprising that measurement presents a capability challenge to media leaders.

“Media transparency has been a focus for the industry for a number of years and, while we accept that this very much a moving target, it’s disappointing to see that this still occupies so much attention from media leaders. These issues – old and new – require the client-side to adopt new skills and they require renewed collaboration from across the industry.” 

Mark Gay, chief client officer at Ebiquity, added: “Issues such as the shift in emphasis from efficiency to effectiveness, diversity and responsibility in media models, the ongoing challenges with transparency, agency selection in a remote, agile, and often virtual world, governance of data and management of technology all require the global marketing community to adopt and flex new skills.”