MediaSense, a media consultancy, working in association with trade body ISBA and Ipsos Connect, conducted a series of interviews and an extensive survey with 200 senior marketers collectively responsible for advertising budgets of more than £1bn.
These client-side marketers were asked how they were organising their businesses for the "media ecosystem" in five years' time and they clearly anticipate significant changes to the industry.
More than two-thirds (67%) regard data analytics and insight to be the most crucial media capability for the success of their business, followed by content development (50%) and omni-channel planning (43%).
"These priorities are a reflection of the significant shift in marketing focus to customer centricity," the report said, noting that senior marketers want deeper and broader internal capabilities to manage customer relationships and their data more closely.
As a consequence, by 2020, more than half (54%) say they expect to bring in-house a number of functions previously outsourced to agencies while 58% expect they will work with fewer agencies.
Indeed, almost three-quarters (73%) say they will increasingly contract directly with media owners and technology companies over the next five years.
Also, while eight in ten marketers believe that creative agencies will remain the best source for big creative ideas, nearly 60% expect content development functions to move in-house or go to alternative agencies.
Turning to what they consider to be the most important challenges facing their businesses over the next five years, almost two-thirds (65%) cite outcome-based KPIs that more closely match media investment decisions to business results.
The report went on to warn agencies that they will need to evolve to align themselves more effectively with this growing performance-based culture.
Especially as three-quarters (76%) of the marketers surveyed say performance target-based remuneration will become even more important in 2020.
Graham Brown, director and founder of MediaSense, said marketers should exercise much greater control over their media ecosystem if they want to be ready for 2020.
"All marketing organisations should have a plan to ensure they have the optimal blend of capabilities (people, systems, processes and technologies) to enable them to succeed in 2020, irrespective of whether those resources are bought or rented," he said.
Data sourced from MediaSense, ISBA; additional content by Warc staff