Getting the mix just right

Andrew Greenyer, director of marketing EMEA, Group 1 Software Europe

Rarely do I extol the virtues of the media agency, but this is one such occasion. The research by London Business School on the lack of engagement between advertisers and media owners (Media owners are not doing enough to help marketers, says new study , page 6, 23 November) rather misses the point of modern marketing.

As they say, if you want enlightening answers, you first have to ask the right questions.

The fact is that few marketers are looking at only one type of medium. Indeed, most are constructing a mix of above-the line, direct marketing, PR, web marketing, promotions and so on, in order to achieve their commercial objectives.

So a direct engagement between a media owner and marketer is rarely an efficient exercise, as the media owner will necessarily be biased toward the type of media it owns.

It is agencies that provide the key intermediation for the client, combining negotiating power with unbiased advice. Well, that’s the theory, anyway.

However, it is debatable that media agencies are generally offering the mix of buying skills and understanding across all these different advertising media – above-the-line, direct, outdoor, in-store, field marketing and so on.

Customer data analysis lies behind how these media are weighted – but that is a rare skill in the media agency. If agencies can deliver on the promise of “only what’s right for the client”, then no one would dispute the value they bring to the party.

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