Advertisers not feeling good about media talent pool

"Help wanted" sign in store window

Advertisers are unsure about their talent meeting their current or future needs, and also more pessimistic than agencies about finding talent in the next year. Meanwhile, either agencies or advertisers may be deluding themselves about in-housing.

The industry is broadly dissatisfied with the ability of current media talent to meet its needs today, not to mention over the next two years. Churn has eclipsed talent quality as a top concern. Three-quarters of advertisers expect it to be harder to find talent over the next year. Meanwhile, advertisers and agencies have a very different view about how much in-housing is going to be happening in the future. 

All of the above is according to the 2022 Global Media Talent Report from ID Comms, which is based on a global survey that included both agency leaders and brands representing a combined global media investment of more than $10 billion.

Only 4% of respondents (purple slice below) strongly agree that advertisers’ existing media talent (internal and external) meets their current media needs, while nearly half (45%) disagree and a fifth feel only so-so about their talent.

Only a quarter of all respondents (26%) indicate high or very high levels of confidence in the ability of their current talent to meet their needs over the next two years. Nearly a quarter (22%) indicate low or very low levels of confidence, and a majority (52%) feel "average" confidence.

Talent churn is a top concern for two-thirds of advertisers (68%) and three-quarters (75%) of agencies. Churn has risen from the fourth-highest concern in a 2016 version of this survey to No. 1 today, topping talent quality and even pay levels.

While three-fourths (76%) of all respondents believe it will get harder to find the right talent over the coming year, advertisers are especially pessimistic, with 90% agreeing it will become harder.

A yawning gap in perception exists between advertisers and agencies when it comes to in-housing. More than half of the advertisers surveyed (55%) say they are more likely to turn to in-house capabilities over the next 12 months, but more than half of agency respondents (54%) think in-housing is less likely over the coming year.

One interpretation of this is that agencies are kidding themselves about advertisers' intentions in this area. Another explanation, the authors point out, is that agencies are skeptical about the ability of advertisers to actually replicate the types of expertise they offer, especially given the talent crunch.

This story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific.

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