LONDON: Almost nine-in-ten media agencies in the UK (86%) are evolving their businesses to reflect the growing influence of ad tech, but nearly half (47%) find it harder to monetise compared with traditional media, a new survey has shown.

Based on responses from 200 senior media agency practitioners, digital marketing firm AdRoll found they may need some help to make the best use of the emerging technology.

In addition to the respondents who find traditional media easier to monetise, the survey revealed that 40% find it hard to develop profitable models around their ad tech partnerships.

Yet the problem does not appear to be with the partnerships themselves because a full 90% of agency staff say they have a close relationship with their ad tech partners.

More than half (56%) also say they have benefitted from productive collaborations, developing data-driven solutions that allowed more time for creativity and strategy, while 46% agree ad tech is helping to provide clients with solutions at more competitive rates.

Agencies are also alert to how the industry is evolving with more than 80% agreeing that the increasing influence of technology means media buyers are evolving more into tech strategists and traders.

Meanwhile, 88% say the rise of ad tech means media planners are now evolving into data analysts and 83% say both buyers and planners are evolving into account managers and creative consultants.

Marius Smyth, managing director of AdRoll EMEA, suggested ad tech companies have a responsibility to help agencies best use emerging technologies to deliver results and best practice.

"We often highlight the transparency offered by data – let's back that up with a promise of transparency and openness to help agencies combat concerns such as monetisation so they can leverage ad tech to deliver results for clients that are profitable," he said.

"The industry must come together to be open, transparent and comfortable with learning and improving as we go. That way, we will all prosper on the promise of ad tech."

Data sourced from AdRoll; additional content by Warc staff