The UK online marketing industry is suffering from a ‘data disconnect’, with over a third of UK creative agencies struggling to glean audience insights from brands.

This comes at the heavy cost of personalised ad campaigns, according to 206 creative decision makers surveyed by Turn, with nearly two thirds (65%) claiming that at least half or more of their current work is built around using data for personalised advertising.

Garnering this information from brands remains the “biggest challenge” for over a third of creatives in the pursuit of producing effective ad campaigns, while 29% cited the same issue when dealing with media agencies.

Turn’s MD for EMEA, Richard Robinson, said the way that data and insights are used and shared, including those from programmatic advertising, are “the most important issues” affecting the online ad industry.

Programmatic knowledge gap

While creative teams are struggling to procure a desired level of insight, the issue is exacerbated by a lack of agency-side knowledge around some of the fundamental technologies used by performance marketers, according to the report.

This is especially true among small agencies, defined by those with up to 50 employees, with just 11% of these companies claiming to be confident in their understanding of programmatic, as compared to 59% of their larger counterparts (over 250 employees).

Counterintuitively, education around programmatic buying is also lacking among younger creatives, with 19% unsure whether they’ve seen programmatic in a brief, and 77% saying they “don’t need” the insights the buying format offers in order to produce relevant advertising.

Robinson emphasised that the “entire industry” has a role to play in ensuring a more fluid process to data sharing, while brands need to impress the importance of a unified planning and working process.

“Creative agencies need to understand how programmatic can enable more personalised storytelling and that this doesn’t detract from the creative process,” he added.