More Agencies to Challenge Clients to Use Innovative Marketing

We’ve heard new technology and services such as social media being called disruptors in the traditional advertising world. Some analysts are now suggesting that advertising agencies can also act as disruptors when working with their clients’ established marketing practices. And doing so could lead to an improved reputation and more business for them.

The CMO Challenge study conducted jointly by Horn Group , Inc., a top digital communications agency, and Kelton Research, a leading market research and strategy consultancy, finds that marketing executives are looking for something extra from their agencies. During times of financial distress, when it’s harder than ever to move the sales meter, marketing managers expect their agencies to “be more disruptive in presenting bold ideas and driving change," said Shannon Latta at Horn Group. When marketers evaluate agencies, here are the most important  criteria:

  • Able to execute: 34%
  • Industry expertise: 27%
  • Value 15%
  • Responsiveness 8%
  • Culture 5%
  • Reputation 5%

In addition, the typical Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) struggles with internal challenges and is looking for help, especially with respect to digital media integration. Over half of execs say it’s hard to find one agency to handle everything though they’d like to cut down on the number of firms they work with. At the same time, marketers appreciate the opportunity to work with agencies that have fewer than 50 staff members. These smaller teams make collaboration easier. The bottom line for Gannon Hall, EVP of Global Marketing at KIT Digital is that  "Agencies should take a more dynamic approach to delivering results and de-​emphasize specialized services. I'm interested in building awareness, demand and revenue — not in social media, PR and messaging."

New agencies may have a chance to break into the marketplace by proving they can build demand for products and services. Often, this will mean taking risks with ad campaigns.

[Source: CMOs Say Agencies Failing to Challenge Clients and Push for Innovation. The Horn Group. 3 Aug. 2011. Web. 16 Aug. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.