The talent pool drains despite indie media agencies’ growth wish, IMAA finds

While 85% of independent media agencies will grow staff by up to 25% or more, more than half believe the quality and depth of the talent pool are still poor, according to Pulse Survey of The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA).

Agencies surveyed predicted Australia’s total advertising expenditure market will grow in 2022, with 90% agreeing the spending will go up by between 10% and 30%.

Key media channel growth this year will come from BVOD/CTV, digital video, and digital out-of-home, with all predicted to grow by 25% or more. Podcasts, digital social, search and display are set to grow by up to 25%.

Sam Buchanan

IMAA CEO, Sam Buchanan, said the discordance between agencies’ growth demand and a small talent pool is a constant source of frustration for businesses. However, it’s reassuring to see the industry is still seeking expansion.

“Despite the cost of living and inflationary pressures, seeing the RBA increase interest rates again to steady the economy, the independent media agency sector is still growing and investing, which augurs well for our industry.”

When it comes to industry trends, the cookieless future was the most nominated category that would have a likely impact on agencies’ business and technology strategies. The conclusion comes from heightened reporting and attribution requirements from clients, multi-channel advertising strategies, and media in-housing.

Return on investment and delivering against campaign objectives are the two equal top priorities for indie media agency clients, followed by access to data, insights, and reporting, outstanding customer service, and commercial transparency.

Other findings include:

  • Eight in ten agencies have adopted a flexible working model post-pandemic, working from home and in the office
  • Indie agencies are focused on diversity and inclusion and sustainability, with more than 75% saying D&I is extremely or very important to their agency, while a similar percentage say the environment is extremely or very important to them.

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