WFA Surveys Members' Use of Media Shops

Findings: Global Marketers Are Hiring More on Regional Basis, Paying for Performance, and Checking Up on Their Agencies

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In a survey of changes in the way global marketers pay their media agencies, the World Federation of Advertisers found that its members are moving toward international assignments over local ones, paying for performance, and reviewing that performance more frequently.

The WFA noted that only 27 advertisers responded to the survey questions, so the results are just an indicator of how the biggest marketers are working with their media agencies.

The key findings are:

More clients -- 36 % -- are hiring media networks on a regional basis rather than country by country. That's up from 23% in a similar survey in 2008. The number who do global alignments with their media agencies, rather than assigning business on a country or regional level, remained at 36 % in both surveys.

One-third of those surveyed said they use an element of payment based on results for offline media buying, although only one-quarter used results-based pay for digital. The amount varies. Of those who pay by results, almost half said the results-based payment was 10% to 20% of total remuneration, and one-quarter said it was worth more than 30% of total fees. (With such a small number of survey respondents, though, this breakdown is based on only a handful of marketers).

One of the biggest changes is that marketers are assessing the performance of their media agencies more often. Of the total, 57% said they evaluate performance twice a year, and just 30% said they only do it once a year. And 13% said they assess their media agencies more often than twice a year. In the 2008 survey, no marketer evaluated their media agency that frequently.

Finally, 56% of respondents said they use specialist financial auditors to delve into hidden media rebates. That question wasn't even asked in the last survey, but the WFA found in meetings with its members around the world that this has become a more important issue and that marketers are no longer just using media auditors.

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