Age-old issues hit new surge of digital transformation

digitisation_1Brand owners’ stampede to complete their digital transformation programmes may have accelerated during the Covid pandemic but it is being thwarted by the age-old issues of internal silos, incompatible technologies, inadequate data and talent.

That is the stark conclusion of a new study, carried out among global chief marketing officers by MediaSense – backed by ISBA – which reveals brands are running at different speeds, with only just over one in ten (11%) of global CMOs confident they have completed their digital transformation “journey”.

However, the Media 2025 report does at least show a noticeable maturing of the industry as brands seek greater simplification and integration across their ecosystem, with omnichannel being the order of the day.

Based on the views of more than 100 global marketers, consisting of CMOs and directors, the report outlines the extent of transformation occurring in the industry with a colossal 82% of brands planning or in the midst of transforming their internal media operating model, and 76% planning or undergoing a transformation of their external agency model.

Some of the drivers highlighted include in-housing, with 55% expecting to bring more functions in house and talent, with 56% believing a skills shortage is holding the industry back.  Talent is a growing concern, now being fought on several fronts, and since Media20:20 was launched, this figure has steadily risen each year from an initial low of 27% in 2015.

While brands are focused on finding a better balance between brand and performance marketing, there are worrying signs for the future of cross-media measurement, the report claims, with two-fifths (42%) believing the ambition will never be realised with a higher proportion (49%) citing self-interest as a key limiting factor.

Attention is likely to pivot towards sustainability and measuring the environmental impact of media, with 46% planning to focus more in this area.

MediaSense managing partner, strategy, Ryan Kangisser believes the level of transformation occurring is a promising sign for the future of the industry, as brands and agencies seek to better equip their organisations to become more agile, integrated and consumer centric.

He added: “Covid has nevertheless had a profound impact through (for many) an unanticipated growth of ecommerce, which has exposed acute gaps across talent and measurement.  Now is the time for greater cross-industry collaboration and leadership to find solutions which better support this constantly evolving and converging ecosystem.”

ISBA director of agency services Andrew Lowdon added: “The Media 2025 findings, especially those on talent, support ISBA’s industry imperative to attract and retain the brightest people across the industry and to continue to develop the case for advertising as a force for good. The report also serves as a much-needed temperature check for those looking to both reset and renew in 2022.”

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