Only a third of businesses (32%) manage their display advertising exclusively in-house, compared to 44% for paid search and 52% for social.

The data comes from a new Econsultancy and Adobe report that focuses on the use of paid-for digital channels, namely paid search, display advertising and social.

For many companies, the buying of these media is been owned and managed by different parts of the business with responsibility for different channels also split across in-house and agency teams.

The report found that display is the most likely to be managed exclusively by an agency with social the least likely to be outsourced.

Do you buy the following media in-house or are they outsourced to an agency?

Our new Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing, entitled Optimising Paid Media, is based on a survey of more than 600 businesses that was publicised by Econsultancy and Adobe to our respective user bases in July this year.

In this instance media optimisation is about having an integrated approach to planning and buying paid-for digital media, so that the media mix is geared towards meeting overall business goals as effectively as possible.

Barriers to media optimisation

The survey also asked respondents about obstacles to effective media optimisation, with lack of resources emerging as the most significant barrier.

In fact 43% of responding companies cited this as a ‘major’ barrier and a further 36% pointing to this as a ‘minor’ barrier.

Disparate data sources also proved to be a major barrier to success, with 34% of businesses citing it as a major barrier and 47% stating that it’s a minor problem.

What is preventing you from optimising your media activity as effectively as you would like?

While sometimes unavoidable for practical reasons, disparate ownership of media can present obvious problems in trying to adopt a unified approach and gaining a single view of campaign performance, especially when there is a lack of communication between different departments and teams.

It is clear that companies need to overcome the technological and people-related challenges born out of fragmented media buying, both through integrated technology platforms and shared business metrics.