According the the soon-to-be-released 2009 Marketing Outlook by the CMO Council (sponsored by Ad-ology Research, Deloitte and Jigsaw), “changes” are in the future for  Ad Agencies on practically every level. The Outlook, which surveyed more than 650 Global Marketers across the world, asks respondents to weigh in on their plans to meet executive mandates (this year “Grow & Retain Market Share” was managements top priority, followed by “Lower Costs” and “Improve Customer Insight & Retention”). At first glance, the results for one of the questions appears to deliver “Bad News” for a lot of hard working Ad Agencies. The question is, “What agency changes do you plan to make in 2009?”  And the results?  (Drum roll, please)

  • Web Design & Development agencies are at the top of the list (42%), for the second year in a row. Interactive Marketing came in #2 with 29%, and Public Relations anchored the #3 spot with 27%.

Bad News, right? Maybe not!  Keep in mind that survey questions are interpreted by the respondent.  So, we must ask how many interpretations can be made for any single word?  In my opinion, the word “change” means just that… A change to something different.  I think the question unintentionally leads the reader to the conclusion that “change” means 42% of CMO’s plan on firing their Web Design firm.  When in reality, there may be NO Web Design firm currently. How many god-awful websites have you seen?  You know the ones I mean…The old, clunky pages with too much or too little content, with pictures that are too big or out of balance, frames that are uneven or bleed over each other, and fonts that represent everything from Arial to Wingbats?!?!  The sites that just scream “I was a summer project for the boss’s nephew!” For 42% of the CMO’s queried in our sponsored survey, there will be a “change” in their current strategy for the area of Web Design and Development.  And that may be a very good thing for their company and you!