What are the biggest issues and challenges facing media today?

This post was updated on October 24, 2018 to reflect the industry changes that have occurred since.

Primarily it was just less than 2 years after this post when the issue of media transparency became a major issue following the revelations from MediaCom in Australia of the existence of Media Value Banks and then the following year, the Former CEO of MediaCom in the USA, Jon Mandel revealed the extent of secret media kickback and commissions. We track the evolution of this slow motion train wreck here.


This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

Media is going through a time of huge transformation. Not just from a media agency point of view, but across all parts of the value chain, from the media owners to the agencies and ultimately the marketers and advertisers.

These changes are being driven by technology and associated social change, where media channels are becoming more fragmented and the media consumer is more empowered than ever before. Some are even becoming media in their own right through blogging and social media.

Everyone is talking about the myriad of issues the industry is facing and addressing. But perhaps the time has come to start to agree and prioritise which are the biggest or more pressing issues and which are of less importance.

Denise Shrivell of MediaScope and TrinityP3 conducted an industry survey to prioritise the issues you and the industry are facing – be it as a marketer, an agency or a media owner. We offered a list of 12 issues (by no means a comprehensive list) that we asked participants to prioritise from their perspective based on the role they played in the media value chain.

These issues are:

  • Media Audience Measurement – standardisation & methodologies for individual media channels cross platform
  • Recruitment & Retention – finding & retaining quality & relevant people resources
  • Keeping Up to Date – with constantly evolving market trends
  • Tracking media ROI & attribution across channels – proving effectiveness of media/channel activity
  • Cost of continually evolving technology and research
  • Fragmenting Market & Increased Competition – from other media & channels ie social & owned media
  • Contracting Marketing Spend/Margins – finding an effective business model
  • Disconnect & lack of recognition of needs & expectations between client, agency & media
  • Billing structures – time & resources required verses monetary return
  • Increased focus on media ROI rather than brand benefits
  • Issues surrounding data ownership and privacy
  • Limited scope for outside the square or new opportunities

The results of this joint industry survey were presented at the State of the Media session at Mumbrella360 in June 2013 with the somewhat provocative tagline:

Is the media industry all talk and no action?

The discussion panel included Linda Pallone – Blackmores, Rob Dingwall – Kellogg, Chris Mort – TNS, Toby Hack – PHD, Tony Kendall – Bauer Media, Zac Zavos – Conversant Media, Denise Shrivell – Mediascope and Darren Woolley – TrinityP3.

What were some of the top line insights?

  • Marketers & media agencies are clearly aligned on challenges surrounding cross channel audience measurement and campaign effectiveness.
  • Media agencies & media owners are aligned on challenges surrounding staff recruitment and retention, this being the number one challenge highlighted by media owners.
  • Media owners also recognise increasing competition from other media channels and pressure on business models as key challenges.
  • All stakeholders identify an ongoing disconnect between marketer, agency and media owner with marketers specifically highlighting this as a top issue.
  • Not surprisingly independent media owners highly rank the challenge – limited scope for outside the square or new opportunities.
  • Keeping up to date with key market trends in a fast evolving industry was also a key challenge for all stakeholder sectors.

These survey results highlight challenges which are often raised and are quite well known in our industry.

Dysfunction was one of the key areas debated by the panel and this is clearly a major pain point right across the industry with procurement and agency remuneration being at the centre of much of the current discussion.

See the results of the State of the Media Industry survey here.

You will find more more information on achieving media transparency, value and performance here.


One thought on “What are the biggest issues and challenges facing media today?

  1. I think that the biggest challenge facing social media marketers today is creating quality content.

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