Will Agencies Be Automated?

Will Agencies Be Automated?

This is a great piece from MediaPost about the future of agencies, automation of services and what happens when all media is served.   I’ve written about this before when I was thinking What If All Media Is Served and in general how all agencies — creative and media — need to get comfortable with technology. 
But all that said, nothing changes as quickly as writers think it will and there will be roles for people in the process.

The Future Is Automation For All Agency Services
by Cory Treffiletti

Do you want to know what the agency of the future really is?  It’s all automated.

I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that the agency business is almost 100% commoditized as a result of its own ineffectiveness and unwillingness to adapt.  The agency of the future will be 90% automated, with only minimal human curation of the data and the systems that are put in place, and a modicum of strategy applied as well.  The human component will exist for top-level strategic thinking, and to develop research and POVs on data opportunities and evaluate new platforms — all of which serve to further automate the media planning, buying and execution process.  Oh, and let’s not forget humans will be there to provide IT assistance for when the systems inevitably have hiccups.

The digital side of the business is headed to this realm of automation and there’s not too much anyone can do about it. The simple fact is, there’s too much confusion, too much clutter, too few trained professionals, and too many fly-by-night solutions that profess to be expert but actually serve to bring down the average performance of the category.

 Agency/client relationships last an average of four years in the digital world, and slightly longer in the offline world. The debate between content buying and audience buying in online won’t even be relevant in five years; the “content” buying component of digital media is being automated, for better or worse, and the “audience” buying model is proving to be effective.  The results are clear.  Using data to drive targeting works  — and this can all be mechanized.

The offline world won’t be far behind, once [more]