LONDON: When it comes to innovation by their agencies, advertisers put strategic ideas and insights ahead of all other considerations, new research has shown.

Warc asked advertisers in what areas they wanted to see more innovation from their agencies and found that 81% looked to them to provide new strategic ideas and insights, well ahead of the application of new technology, cited by 57%.

Some 43% sought new skills and competences, while 38% preferred to see improved general working processes in terms of briefings, approvals and feedback. Greater trading efficiencies were also mentioned by 30%.

These results, exclusive to Warc, were gathered as part of the first International Media Image Survey, from BSBMedia, the marketing consultancy, and The Vision Network, a communications company, which polled 240 agencies and 64 clients with an international remit during the spring of 2013. This study examined the reputations and perceptions around both international network media agencies and media owners.

Strategic planning, creativity and people topped the list of attributes sought by advertisers from their agenices, but only by a small margin and it was clear that agencies had to be good at everything – service, insight, ROI, technology, value – to be considered.

Advertisers' ideal pitch list would include OMD, ZenithOptimedia and Mindshare, but when agencies were scored on the above attributes, Mindshare, OMD and Mediacom came out on top.

Reputation and past experience were among the most important reasons for choosing an agency. The study noted that "completing awards entries and Recma [media agency evaluation reports] can take up many hours of management time but neither rate highly in terms of importance for advertisers".

The survey also asked agencies and clients which media owners they most and least liked doing business with. Among TV/digital media owners, the Discovery Channel scored the highest "enjoyment" rating with a net score of 8%, while Eurosport was at the bottom with a score of -7%.

International news brands came out top in the print/digital segment with the Financial Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal all registering a net score of 7%. Institutional Investor brought up the rear on -4%.

There was a two-way tie at the top in the digital portals/social networks segment, where Twitter and Yahoo both recorded a net score of 2%. Facebook was some way behind everyone else on -7%.

Data sourced from International Media Image Survey; additional content by Warc staff