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Advertiser investment in media training rated unsatisfactory: Report

Advertisers are still failing to invest enough in media training, according to new research from ID Comms.

Seventy-one percent of respondents to the ID Comms 2019 Global Media Training Report rated levels of investment in media training unsatisfactory or entirely unsatisfactory with 60 per cent of advertiser marketing and media professionals concurring.

The figure was even higher among agency respondents, of whom 79 per cent rated advertiser investment levels in media training as either unsatisfactory or entirely unsatisfactory.

An important consequence of this failure to invest is that brands continue to lack the skills to make media more accountable and thus maximise its value to their businesses. Nearly half of advertisers think that current capabilities and skills are unsatisfactory when it comes to making media more accountable. The figure is particularly extreme among advertiser media specialists, who score 60 per cent on the same metric.

Among agency respondents, the key concern was that lack of training means advertisers do not always have the ability to follow good media management behaviours, with 43 per cent rating this as either ‘unsatisfactory’ or ‘entirely unsatisfactory’.

The findings of the ID Comms 2019 Global Media Training Report are based on 150 responses from Marketing, Media and Procurement professionals with a range of global, regional and local market responsibilities, representing brands with a combined global media investment in excess of $20bn.

Respondents to the survey blame continued under-investment in media training primarily on a lack of adequate time and available budget, with 30 per cent citing time and 27 per cent budget.

“What’s most worrying about these findings is that investment in media training has not been prioritised since we last conducted the same research back in 2016. Despite all the concern about the need to make media more accountable in recent years, many brands have not seen fit to invest in the skills that will help them achieve that goal. This behaviour contradicts the fact that 99 per cent of respondents agree that brands can gain a competitive advantage in marketing by investing in training that raises their media capabilities,” said Susy Pyzer-Knapp, Consultant at ID Comms.

In 2019 training such as KPI Setting, Briefing and Evaluating agency work, and Media ROI are still rated as particularly important areas of media training for the future (scoring 61 per cent, 53 per cent and 49 per cent respectively).

In 2016, the same three areas were also cited but Media ROI came joint-top with KPI setting at 55 per cent, followed by Briefing and Evaluating Agency Work, which scored 47 per cent.

Respondents rated training in market trends, running media pitches, and how agencies work as low priorities – consistent with results from the 2016 survey. There was also a notable split between advertiser and agency in terms of how highly they rated training in paying for agency services, with 50 per cent of agency representatives rating this as important compared to under 10 per cent of advertisers.

“It is clear from the consistency in data from 2016 to 2019, that there has been no real improvement in the quality or provision of media training. Unless media capabilities are raised it will remain difficult for media to be seen as a key lever for growth. This has hindered progress we would have expected to see since 2016,” said Ms Pyzer-Knapp.