Are change and disruption the new normal in the marketing universe? Will new constellations of start-up stars continue to be born every couple of years? Are the once-stable industry giants about to be blown up by unforeseen forces?
Whether you find these questions unsettling or exciting, you will be interested in the results of the 2017 national survey of 200 in-house marketing directors and marketing agency leaders published by RSW/US.
The potential for major disruption comes from changes in what marketers want from agencies: In-house marketing directors no longer believe one agency can be truly “full service,” no matter how gigantic it is. And they now favor a project-based relationship with agencies, rather than a single, stable agency-of-record.
Most of the largest agencies in Philadelphia and elsewhere operate under the full-service banner and have a business model based on agency-of-record relationships in which they are solely responsible for handling all client marketing needs.
Meanwhile, numerous small, specialty agencies have become fast-growing stars in clusters around digital, data and analytics, or the development of text and video content for inbound marketing via blogs, social media and email.
Accelerating the changes in what marketers want from agencies are trends toward expanding in-house marketing staffs and investing in marketing technologies for automation, measurement and analysis.
All this is good news for Hollister Creative and our partners in the MarCom Alliance: all small companies that specialize to stay current in their niche. Since it is hard for in-house marketers to source and manage multiple specialty firms, the Alliance makes them all available from a single source, on a project basis.
Here are additional results from the survey, some of which you may find surprising.
Marketing directors want agencies to:
- Think and act like strategic partners focused on the client’s business goals
- Ask and listen to learn about the client’s new challenges, stresses and successes
- Bring enthusiasm, new ideas and insights, as though every day were the first day
- Set measurable goals and track against them
- Not just provide data but analyze it to explain the actionable “why” and “what next”
- Continue to include traditional media as part of the mix
Marketing directors shop around when their agency:
- Has become less proactive
- Is too short-staffed to give them enough attention
- Is providing generic or stale creative
- Is not truly customizing for the client’s needs
- Has not effectively embraced new media
- Has not shown sufficient technical capabilities: data, measurement, analytics
If you are a marketing director or agency leader, submit a comment to tell us what you think. Are you seeing these same trends, or something different?
Have a marketing challenge? Call Kim Landry at 484.829.0021 or email [email protected]