Marketers Expect Ad and Media Agencies to Focus on ROI

Ad agencies are required to walk a fine line these days. Sure, businesses appreciate the creative attitude that an agency can bring to the businessmeeting3table. But, in the digital age, the focus is on quantifying the results of a campaign, regardless of the creative angle. This is one of the key findings from the 2013 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program published by Fournaise Marketing Group.

Fournaise considered CEO opinions from large businesses and SMBs in this study. Key findings are as follows:

  • Agencies are too focused on being creative instead of business-​sensible and they’re often too quick to “claim credit” for results they didn’t generate: 76%
  • Agencies frequently want to plan for the long term and overlook the short and medium-​term goals that CEOs, especially those with shareholders, are managing to: 74%
  • Agencies emphasize ‘gut-​feelings’ and not “data and science” as CEOs would like: 72%
  • CEOs suspect agencies complain about their lack of resources and budgets as a way to dodge responsibility for getting more technical: 70%

These numbers suggest that a significant percentage of CEOs have issues with ad agencies. The study also revealed that CEOs believe there are a few ‘good’ agencies that operate in a performance-​driven environment. But, CEO also suspect that too many agencies are claiming to be ‘performers’ while they are, in fact, ‘pretenders.’

As far as CEOs are concerned, the best way for agencies to improve the business relationship would be to agree to move to a ‘pay-​by-​performance’ contract. This change would earn the respect of CEOs  who are looking for partners in the demand generation they are seeking.

Do you agree or do you feel this survey is too harsh in judging the efforts of ad agencies? Does your agency struggle to find the balance between creativity and performance?

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.