Both Wren and Krakowsky noted the lag right now in hiring, which partially kept expenses down.
“Particularly in the U.S., the labor markets remain tight,” Wren said.
“Clearly, we’ve been dealing with the pressures of the talent market for the kind of digital and tech talent that has been in demand for a while,” echoed Krakowsky.
The agencies are also becoming more adept data stewards and data-driven targeters.
Companies that historically don’t collect first-party data troves, namely CPG brands, are among the biggest ad spenders. Krakowsky said those types of brands are working with IPG more and more to build first-party data assets and use it in their ad campaigns.
“They are very focused on data, and either are assessing their first-party data assets and understanding how they get organized so that they can begin to put them to work, or whether they’re further behind in terms of readiness,” he said.
Wren specified Omnicom’s precision targeting group as the part of the business he’s most optimistic about.
He also noted that third-party services, or when Omnicom works with a technology vendor on behalf of its client, were up $275 million in Q2 compared to last year.
While exactly how the advertising market shakes out this year remains in doubt, agency holding companies seem to have regained confidence, not to mention many billions of dollars in evaporated market cap from 2019 and 2020.
“We can’t predict the future,” said Omnicom’s Wren. “But we do know that we’ve lived through a hell of a past, and have done it successfully. So that gives us confidence.”
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