AdTech Fragmentation: Why Agencies Can’t Scale Digital Media

by | Feb 21, 2019 | Impressions

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The core problem in digital advertising is that agencies need to achieve three things — performance, scalability and profitability — but they can only pick two.

Here, we’ll walk through agencies’ biggest hurdle to the scalability portion: adtech fragmentation.


Why AdTech Fragmentation Exists

1. Walled Gardens

Digital advertising is a duopoly between Google and Facebook. There are other players rising as well, like Amazon, AT&T and major retailers.

All of these companies have a vested interest in making people see things through their proprietary lens. They restrict the use of the third-party technology, so if you use a Google product, you’re incentivized to use all other Google products to the exclusion of just about everything else.


2. Nothing Speaks the Same Language

Raise your hand if you’ve spent the first ten minutes of a meeting setting baseline definitions for things like “Line Items.” 

The fact that nothing speaks the same language in this industry is a huge problem when trying to compare performance. It’s like comparing apples to hammers. It’s that bad.


3. The Nature of Innovation

The digital advertising industry is a frontier, with all its positives and negatives. There is a lot of exciting things happening, but it’s also fraught with fraud, problems and unsavory practices.

This makes the whole industry a constantly shifting environment that’s incredibly difficult to make sense of. How do you know if you’re taking advantage of a fancy new technology or if you’re being taken advantage of by a snake oil salesman?


The Impact of AdTech Fragmentation

There are three ways adtech fragmentation makes scaling media efforts difficult for agencies.

1. Inefficiency

All this is too much for media teams to handle efficiently. They’re navigating through dozens of platforms, miles of spreadsheets and trying to wrangle it all together. And that’s just for one client!


2. Lack of Consistency

How do you ensure consistent performance in a constantly shifting industry? One way many agencies do it is to throw money and mindpower at it, which inevitably makes it a money sink.


3. Burnout

Adtech fragmentation makes managing media a thankless, stressful and grinding duty. And navigating through this mess is not what many on your media team entered the industry to do. As a result, turnover is a very real problem for many media teams.


The Solution to AdTech Fragmentation

As it is now, managing media is a sisyphean task. To fix it,  there needs to be a bottom-up rethinking of the role of media teams and how they function.

The solution to adtech fragmentation is an agile, repeatable process media teams can follow and adapt to their needs.  It’s a playbook that provides a standard set of strategic moves that’s designed to adapt to the realities of the game as it develops.

Sounds pretty pie in the sky and high concept, but this process is the foundation of the Media Architect Method. If you’d like us to walk you through it, schedule a demo or subscribe. We’ll be posting all about how it works in the coming months.

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