IPG-owned Mediabrands has unveiled a new automated media offering, developed in partnership with software developer UI Path and American tech services firm Cognizant.
Mediabrands Australia executive Greg Clarke claimed the automation capabilities, in development since September 2020, could save clients and Mediabrands’ own agencies tens of thousands of working hours.
Since a soft launch earlier this year, Mediabrands Australia has saved itself 3,300 working hours by automating tasks previously run manually; in a statement, the company predicted it could save 25,000 hours across the whole year.
Clarke said: “By modernizing and automating the way in which our media buying services are managed and recorded, we provide more efficient and timely services for clients. Our series of BOTS make up the only end-to-end solution that works across the buy/book/pay aspect of media agencies – and is the only one in existence in the industry. It makes a major statement to the market.
“The robotic technology facilitates time for our team to produce higher quality work, which has a direct roll-on effect to increase the value of individual IP and craft skill diversity across each business, and creates opportunity to shift client relationships from largely a commodity-based arrangement to a true business partnership.”
IPG Mediabrands manages $40bn in media investments annually, and operates the UM and Initiative media agency networks. It currently employs round 13,000 staff across 130 countries.
Clarke added: “There is no doubt the complexities of our industry continue to rise so as an industry leader we have proactively changed what we do, to improve what we produce. This has meant implementing significant transformation to prepare our people for a new era in media.”
Mark Coad, chief executive office of Mediabrands in Australia, suggested that further use of automation at media agencies could make the lives of its staff easier and provide more opportunities for advancement. He said: “The uncomfortable truth is the media industry has not changed the way it works for more than two decades. Our transformation unburdens our people of the time-consuming and tedious tasks of day-to-day operations and frees them up to do intelligent, creative work that drives growth.
“For those of us who have been in the media hot seat for a long time, we know it’s pretty tough starting out in media agencies. Investing heavily in finding ways to remove some of the less glamorous and more menial tasks from daily workloads gives our people time to spend learning and developing in areas that drive business growth.
“Staff turnover remains a key on-going problem across the industry, and the future will be won by the group who can deliver true career value and improved career pathing. Yes, of course this benefits our business, but more importantly it provides opportunities for our people to improve their career path and self-esteem growth.”
Coad concluded: “If you are working for a media agency still riddled with repetitive menial tasks such as loadings, TV campaign tracking and post analysis, then you are putting your career development into slow motion, and not using the bright mind you were recruited for.”
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