Study: Brands quickly snap up chief media officers, a new addition to the C-suite
- A new role is rising in prominence in marketers' C-suites: the chief media officer, which, along with similar job titles, has grown nearly 150% on English-language LinkedIn profiles over the past year, according to analysis from Digiday.
- Big brands, including Tesco, Airbnb and Procter & Gamble, have created a version of job title, the report said, with around 257 instances of it appearing on the social networking platform.
- As traditional ad agencies weather rough financial waters, going brand-side as a chief media officer might be an attractive option for those with experience handling global media contracts, building ad tech stacks and working with publishers on measurement and campaign KPIs, Digiday said.
Agencies are under considerable fire right now, and the Digiday analysis — which suggests a migration of agency vets to more client-side positions — is another indication that a lot of ad players with experience might be jumping ship to search out roles elsewhere. Agencies' bread-and-butter partners in CPG companies like P&G and Unilever are cutting back on their advertising budgets amid tough competition from e-commerce sites like Amazon and a growing distrust in the digital media space.
Many agencies are also viewed as being slow to adapt to the accelerated pace of the digital revolution, which has recently led management and finance consultancies such as Accenture and Deloitte to step in and meet brands' needs for technological and data expertise. If the chief media officer position continues to see healthy growth, more brands might poach talent from agencies to strengthen their in-house services — another trend that's recently put a greater dent in the agency business. This point additionally underscores how not just agencies but also brands are struggling with digital disruption and modern marketing demands, which has resulted in serious volatility with top executive positions such as the CMO.
One industry analyst recently stated that the five largest agency holding groups — WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Interpublic and Dentsu — are all ripe acquisition targets for a consulting or IT services company like Accenture or Capgemini. Agencies have valued talent, but a larger question lingers over the role they play in today's digital marketing world and just how greatly it might be diminished by these developments over time.