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First annual International Media Image Survey – what the industry really thinks of media agencies and media owners alike

by on July 5, 2013 in Lead story, Media, Research, Retail, Retail News

In the media sector, reputation plays a hugely important role in selecting the right media partners.  This is why BSBMedia and The Vision Network have launched the first annual International Media Image Survey (I-MIS), a unique study, run in conjunction with the International Advertising Association (IAA) and Warc, to provide insight into reputations and perceptions around both international network media agencies and media owners.  Highlights from the findings are as follows:

AGENCY POPULARITY: Whilst the survey covered the top 14 international media network agencies, it seems that familiarity and desire to do business with them follows a similar pattern to the billings reported by agencies.  The top five agencies for familiarity are also the biggest by billings and also all feature in the top agencies selected by marketers when asked to draw up a dream pitch list of three agencies.  Whilst PHD and MEC are less familiar amongst clients, (falling 10th and 11th in terms of familiarity), it’s interesting to see that these agencies gain recognition from their peers, appearing in the top five agencies that agency staff would like to work for.

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

How familiar would you say you are with the following network agencies? BASE: ADVERTISERS  Score 1-10

ZenithOptimedia

7.3

OMD

7.1

Mindshare

7.0

Mediacom

6.8

Carat

6.6

If you had to draw up a pitch list of 3 agencies tomorrow and you didn’t have to worry about category clashes, which would you include? BASE: ADVERTISERS

OMD

36%

ZenithOptimedia

36%

Mindshare

34%

Mediacom

28%

Carat

25%

The next time you’ll search for a new job, which of the following agencies would you most like to work for? BASE: AGENCIES

Mediacom

13%

OMD

11%

ZenithOptimedia

10%

PHD

7%

MEC

6%

 

SKILLS/ATTRIBUTES & THEIR IMPACT ON AGENCY BUSINESS: It seems that overall reputation is more important than being great in any one key area, as there are no clear factors that will make an agency succeed and there is a long tail of elements all at a similar level.   Hence why OMD and ZenithOptimedia are the top two agencies in an advertisers dream pitch lists, despite the fact that they don’t lead the league tables in what advertisers say they want most – strategic planning and creativity.  Havas/MPG and PHD fare worst amongst the bigger agencies here, being chosen by only 13% and 11% respectively to go on a dream pitch list.

Belinda Barker, Managing Director at BSB Media comments, “It also seems that there is no substitute for past experience when choosing an agency, with 73% of marketers choosing agencies based on this, coupled with 70% also using colleague recommendations.  Many agencies spend hours focusing on their awards entries and supplying information to Recma but neither appears as a high priority when clients are selecting which media agencies to invite to pitch.

Which of the following agencies do you considers to have a strong reputation for the following? BASE: ALL CLIENTS FAMILIAR WITH AGENCY (SELECT MORE THAN 0 AT PREVIOUS QUESTION)

Attribute importance among marketers when selecting agency

 

1st

2nd

3rd

 

Strategic planning

Mindshare

OMD

Mediacom

67%

Buying strength

Mediacom

Mindshare/OMD

MEC

66%

Creativity

Universal McCann

PHD

MEC

67%

Strong technological solutions-

Mindshare

OMD

Carat

58%

Return on Investment / ROI

ZenithOptimedia

OMD

Mediacom

63%

Consumer insight

Mediacom

Universal McCann / Mindshare

MEC

64%

Social responsibility / ethics

MEC

Universal McCann

Mindshare / ZenithOptimedia

58%

MEDIA OWNER REPUTATIONS: The survey also looks to provide unique insight into the reputation of the media networks themselves.  The media were put into four ‘like minded’ categories – almost all include some form of digital offering: Group 1 – TV/Digital, Group 2 – Print/Digital, Group 3 – Digital Portals/Social Networks, Group 4 – Networks/Digital Service Providers.  All media owners surveyed were ranked on four attributes and the table below shows the winners for each attribute amongst all responders and also amongst individuals who had actually done business with them and so know them best (i.e. their clients).

Please indicate which of the following attributes apply best to the media sales teams.

 

Professional sales/customer service

Offer a creative & flexible approach

Offer hot new media and technological platforms

Have good research resources/ROI

 

BASE

All

Clients

All

Clients

All

Clients

All

Clients

Group 1

BBC World News

39%

BBC World News

81%

MTV

19%

 

MTV

58%

MTV

9%

MTV

27%

BBC World News

17%

CNN

International

36%

Group 2

Financial

Times

33%

New York

Times/IHT

73%

The

Economist

14%

Metro

International

41%

The

Economist

11%

FT/NYT/IHT/

The Econo-

mist

21%

Financial

Times

21%

Financial

Times

45%

Group 3

Google

32%

Reuters

59%

Google

24%

Yahoo

47%

Google

40%

Google

55%

Google

41%

Google

56%

Group 4

Be On

(formerly Go Viral)

21%

Odyssey

Mobile

64%

Be On

(formerly Go Viral)

21%

Odyssey

Mobile

51%

Unruly

17%

 

Odyssey

Mobile

47%

Be On

(formerly Go Viral)

11%

Videology

32%

 

For the TV networks, BBC World News and MTV won the majority of top spots between them, both amongst all responders and also amongst their clients.  However, CNN was ranked best amongst clients for its good research resources/ROI.  There was a greater differentiation between the views of all responders and clients in the Print sector, with either The Economist and the Financial Times (FT) coming top for the majority of attributes across all responders.  However, among those who had worked with it, The New York Times/IHT was a surprise front-runner in the Print reputation league table, ranking highest for its professional sales/customer service by  73% of responders and also coming joint top (with The Economist and FT) for its new media and technological platforms.  Metro International was recognised by clients for its ability to offer a creative and flexible approach.

Amongst Digital Portals/Social Networks, Google came top across all four factors amongst all responders, but among clients Reuters led the way for professional sales/customer service while Yahoo ranked top for its creative and flexible approach.  Be On (formerly Go Viral) stood out as the outright winner amongst the Networks/Digital Service Providers amongst all responders, leading the rankings in three out of the four statements.  Unruly came first for ‘Offer hot new media and technological platforms’.  However, among clients the picture was quite different, with mobile specialist Odyssey Mobile’s sales team being rated as the best for all of the attributes except for research resources/ROI for which digital advertising platform firm Videology claimed the top spot.

ENJOY DOING BUSINESS WITH: Marketers and agencies were also asked which of these media owners they enjoyed doing business with most and least which provided some interesting findings.  Will Nicholson, Founding Director at The Vision Network, adds, “It’s difficult for media owners to gain a real understanding of how they are perceived in the industry.  I-MIS provides in-depth insight into this, showing, for instance, that BBC World, Discovery Channel and FOX Ones Stop Media are liked equally amongst those that work with them.  The FT and Google appear to be polarising brands as both were ranked as the organisations people like to work with most and least in their category, while Be On (formerly Go Viral), RadiumOne and Say Media were ranked equal top in the Networks/Digital Service Providers.

With reference to I-MIS, Angus Grieve, Executive Director – IAA UK Chapter, says, “The IAA fully supports the I-MIS initiative since it is a unique independent survey tracking the brand reputations of the most recognised organisations within the international media marketplace. The IAA embraces the changing face of the industry and I-MIS provides valuable insight for us.”

Background to I-MIS: The International Media Image Survey was an online survey which was carried out by BSB Media and The Vision Network in conjunction with the International Advertising Association, Warc, InSites Consulting and Loudmouth PR.  It was completed by 306 client-side marketers and agency staff during April 2013. The 14 agencies studied in the report are Mediacom, OMD, ZenithOptimedia, PHD, MEC, Carat, Mindshare, Havas/MPG, Starcom Mediavest, Universal McCann, Maxus, Initiative, Vizeum and Columbus Media. The full list of media owners can be found in Editors Notes below. To keep up to date with the report follow @imissurvey on Twitter and use #IMIS13.

Please contact Belinda Barker at BSBMedia at belinda@bsbmedia.co.uk or Will Nicholson at will@vision-network.eu if you would like to purchase a full copy of the report, priced £750.

 

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