SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Talk of the “disintermediation” of ad agencies may have dissipated a little in the last couple of years.

But that doesn’t mean agencies can just sit back.

In this video interview with Beet.TV at Beet Retreat, Mike Fisher, Head of Advanced TV, Essence/GroupM, said they should reform to function a lot more like ad-tech software providers.

Need to pivot

“We need to restructure our teams,” Fisher says. “We need to be thinking more of like ad-tech than traditional agency people. We need to be able to bring in that level of thinking and make it a reality.”

Questioned by The TV Data Initiative project director Jon Watts, Fisher acknowledged debate heard at Beet Retreat about the need for agency reform.

“Everything that’s been said on stage yesterday and is probably going to be said on stage today aligns with our vision,” Fisher says.

“It’s taking us time to start to pivot how we’re doing the day-to-day operations.”

Toward holistic planning

Behind the change Fisher knows Essence needs to make, the big imperative is helping brands launch whole-audience campaigns, rather than using piecemeal buckets of budget.

“We’re moving towards a world where we’re going to approach our clients this year in the upfronts, with that audience-first approach,” Fisher says.

“We don’t want our clients saying, ‘Here’s a linear budget. Here’s a digital budget. Here’s an addressable budget. Here’s a digital video, YouTube budget’.

“We want our clients saying, ‘Here’s an audience budget’, and let us and our clients work together with the ad-tech and the media ecosystem to say, ‘Here’s the best way to implement that budget at scale’.”

Dancing with Choreograph

A year ago, GroupM holding group WPP launched Choreograph, focused on building, enriching and activating brand-owned for cross-platform ad campaigns.

Essence’s Fisher says: “Choreograph for GroupM is meant to be that interoperability across the media data and tech ecosystem, that allows a singular audience to move between cookie and cookie-less environments.

“We need to figure out a more flexible model around how an agency’s commitment to the marketplace during upfront or upfront-like conversations can be utilised across all types of TV buying.”

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You are watching coverage from Beet Retreat San Juan 2022, presented by AppScience, Infillion, MadHive, SpringServe, Univision & VideoAmp. For more videos, please visit this page.