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2014 RSW/US Ad Agency New Business New Year Outlook Report


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The 2014 RSW/US Ad Agency New Business New Year Outlook Survey was completed by 150 senior level Marketers and 170 Marketing Agency Executives during December, 2013.

The purpose of the survey was to glean insights relative to Marketer and Agency expectations and perspective going into 2014 – for things such as marketing spend levels, media usage, and new business activities.

In some cases, we compare the responses of questions gleaned in this survey to the same question asked as far back as 2011 to help provide some perspective on how things are changing – either for the good or bad!

Our hope is the following key findings and implications from this study are of value as you formulate your plans for the start of this coming year and as you move throughout 2014.

While the world is changing at a fairly rapid pace, there are some things that remain constant and need to be considered by Agencies as they roll into the coming year.

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2014 RSW/US Ad Agency New Business New Year Outlook Report

  2. 2. Background The 2014 RSW/US New Year Outlook Survey was completed by 150 senior level Marketers and 170 Marketing Agency Executives during December, 2013. The purpose of the survey was to glean insights relative to Marketer and Agency expectations and perspective going into 2014 – for things such as marketing spend levels, media usage, and new business activities. In some cases, we compare the responses of questions gleaned in this survey to the same question asked as far back as 2011 to help provide perspective on how things are changing - for the good or bad! Our hope is the following key findings and implications are of value as you formulate your plans for the start of this coming year and as you move throughout 2014. While the world is changing at a fairly rapid pace, some things remain constant and should be considered by Agencies in the coming year. They are: How Marketers are finding out about Agencies and The importance of RFIs and RFPs. While networking and referrals continue to dominate how Marketers most often find out about Agencies, the tried and true "Call/Emails from Agencies" win the day. 32% of Marketers state this is the primary means by which they find out about new Agencies. While blogging and creating other value-added content is important, the message here is you can't just blog and hope they'll come. You have to activate your content and then be there to act on it when prospects show interest in your Agency. Page2 Marketers Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  3. 3. The other message this sends is something we talked about in an Agency New Business post awhile back - which is "Treat Every Day Like It's The First Day Of The Relationship". With networking and referrals continuing to play a large part in how Marketers find out about Agencies, it's key that you consistently remain in good graces with your Marketing partners. Too often, we have Marketers come to us on the RSW/AgencySearch side of our business complaining their Agency has let them down from a service or “keeping them ahead of the curve” standpoint. You never know when a prospect's looking for a new Agency, so you have to do two things - stay in front of them with as many means as possible (including phone and email - and we profess mail as well) and keep in your client’s good graces, because you never know when a prospect will look for a "thumbs up" on your Agency. Marketers are also fairly well wed to the RFI and RFP (Request for Information/Request for Proposal) process. We suspect because it helps them more easily sort out the value of Agencies in what can be a relatively simple, organized process - if done well. As an Agency, you need to understand what you're getting into before you jump into a review process. Ascertain how many Agencies are involved, if the incumbent is involved, and why they are making a move to switch firms. Absent of this information, you're shooting in the dark. Also make sure that, when you fill out these responses, you are doing it in a thoughtful and relevant manner. At RSW/AgencySearch we go beyond just the functional questions when we push out an RFI - we ask questions that try and unearth the thinking and relevant value of an Agency's experience. If you don't put thought into your responses, it will show - trust us, we've seen it. Page3 Marketers Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  4. 4. The Agency sample came from the RSW/AgencySearch database of marketing service companies in the U.S. and Canada ranging in size from under $5M in capitalized billings to over $100M. The disciplines of each Agency varied from full service advertising to digital, to marketing consultancies. The Marketer sample came from our RSW/US database of over 30,000 marketing decision maker contacts. Client company size, location, and size varied. If you would like to reproduce any of our findings in any format whatsoever, please give either Mark Sneider or Lee McKnight a call (513-559-3101/3111) or email us at / RSW/US is a full service, outsourced lead generation and new business development firm that helps marketing services firms (exclusively) find and win new business. RSW/US helps clients find qualified leads, set meetings, better position them in the market, and help move them closer to close. More information about RSW/US can be accessed at or by contacting Lee McKnight Jr. (Director of Business Development) at 513.559.3111 or at For further insight into our report, follow the links below: 2014 Marketing Agency Outlook Agencies Optimistic About New Business Opportunities, Will Take More Aggressive Approach Survey Predicts a Bleak Future for Agencies Shops need to go digital or die Page4 Some Say "Finally!" Significantly More Marketers Set To Increase 2014 Spending Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  5. 5. Survey Results and Implications Our first series of questions center on the use of inbound marketing and blogging and its effectiveness at helping Agencies win more new business. A large majority of Agencies are blogging and doing it with some measure of frequency. 76% of Agency principals state their Agency is blogging with a reasonable amount of frequency (55% once a week or more often). 58% of Agencies expect their blogging activity to increase in 2014. Implications: As we'll see later in this report, Marketers turn to Agency blogs with a fair amount of frequency, so it’s encouraging to see Agencies step up and get more active in this space. The key is doing it more than just an "average" of one time per month. And the other key is making sure the content is relevant. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page5 Agencies
  6. 6. All that said, only 42% of Agencies say blogging is an effective marketing strategy for their Agency. 54% are simply "not sure". We suspect a number of Agencies have only recently adopted an active blogging program and haven't been at it long enough to say whether or not it is working for them. Agencies Implications: There are two things to consider when blogging: The first is: Don't give up. Blogging is not an overnight sensation and takes time to build up awareness and credibility. The second thing to consider: Focus your blog and provide useful and insightful content for your readers. As we'll see later, Marketers are reading your content - if it's focused and if it brings value to their world. Page6 At RSW/US we work to get our Agency clients zeroed in on specific industry and/or media spaces and then center all communication and outreach in and around this effort. We also make certain all prospects in each Agency's custom database are receiving content from us (the Agency) throughout the life of the outreach program. Our Agency clients are always impressed when we set meetings with prospects who’ve been in their database for 3-4-5 years.That's a direct result of our staying with that prospect and being consistent in our messaging. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  7. 7. Marketers provide some validation for the implications outlined on the previous page. 49% of Marketers state they read Agency blogs at least 1x per month or more often. Page7 But it's not just any old blog they're reading. The blogs read most often are those that bring value - either in the form of insights about the Marketer's category, or in the form of trend data that can be of value/benefit to the Marketer. If all you're doing is writing about your opinions on other ads or talking about what's happening in your Agency, you might as well hang it up! Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  8. 8. Most Agencies said they use some form of inbound marketing to support their Agency's new business development efforts. 64% state they have/do use inbound to support their Agency. Far fewer, however, have bought into programs like Marketo or Hubspot to support their inbound marketing efforts. Only 24% believe they will buy into a program like this in 2014. Agencies Implications: As we'll see, the effectiveness of inbound when used in isolation is still up in the air. Many Agencies jumped head first into inbound and are now using it as their sole means of new business support. This is a dangerous strategy - as we noted upfront, the #1 way Marketers are learning about Agencies isn't by searching online and finding them because of good keyword strategies, it's because Agencies are reaching out directly to them in an attempt to attract their attention. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page8 a
  9. 9. Only 30% of Agencies said their inbound marketing program is helpful in generating new business. This compares to 40% of Agencies reporting inbound as "not effective" in building their new business pipeline. Agencies Implications: As noted on the next page, those that rated inbound's effectiveness lower gave reasons such as "poor leads," believing prospects are "saturated" and "inconsistency" of their own efforts to support the inbound program. Key is using inbound (we do at RSW/US)...but making it part of a well-integrated program - part of which includes outbound. The Agencies that said Marketers were "saturated" are right. Agencies need to utilize all platforms in a value-added way in order for Marketers to take notice. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page9 There were also a number of Agencies that said "too early to tell"...which is the truth. Many Agencies try for awhile, then give up - or try inbound as their only means of support and then see little value relative to some of the big expectations set by some of the firms in the market.
  10. 10. Agencies - Reasons Why Inbound Hasn't Been Effective Open-Ended Responses (not edited) Page10 not sure, people reading, but no correlation to new business yet. Too soon to tell No leads, to date, despite multiple channels and attempts to make each work. we get calls but nothing substantial has come from them. I believe this has to do with our geographic area and peoples unwillingness to spend $. It's just not showing results. Not consistent enough Uncertain good question People are saturated. No business yet we don't have the time to invest in it right now Still working on the value promise template. We are not consistent. Not committed. Not sure Too limited. Whole online marketing effort is too minimal to be effective Too soon to see results. Long term strategy. Still too early to tell too early to tell Too early in the program to tell. We're seeing traffic and inquiries go up, but no new business closed. I think we aren't putting enough effort into targeting the right audiences. Unclear on objectives, metrics and process to drive real insights and value. Still to early to determine. We haven't put a lot of effort into it. We've had all the growth we can reasonably handle this year so we've been focusing on our internal infrastructure to make sure we manage the business we have efficiently and profitably. not sure Too early to tell Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  11. 11. Our next series of questions center on the activities of Agency New Business - and how Agencies are pursuing it, what they expect in 2014 and some perspective on how the competitive nature of the landscape is changing. 66% of Agencies in our survey dedicate 9+ hours per week to Agency New Business and most Agencies have 2+ people working to support the effort. Agencies Implications: The number of hours dedicated to new business is solid. Good to see so many Agencies dedicating so much time. Just keep it up - and don't let up. Page11 And while it's great to see so many people involved in the new business process, we need to issue a word of caution. If a lot of folks from your Agency are involved, make sure there's a leader calling the shots - don't do new business by committee. It can destroy an Agency's new business process. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  12. 12. More Agencies expect the number of new business opportunities to increase next year - in line with what we've seen in years prior to 2013. Going into 2013, the level of enthusiasm dropped a bit - likely because of the uncertainty existing in the economy and partly due to the inertia in Washington (as we'll see later). Agencies % Of Agencies Expecting New Business Opportunities Will Increase In Upcoming Year 2014: 2013: 2012: 2011: 69% 60% 72% 74% Implications: This certainly is a good sign for Agencies. As noted above, we suspect this is partly driven by the uptick in the economy and the loosening of some of the political issues we faced in 2012. We also believe this increase in enthusiasm is due in part to the fact more Marketers are creating more opportunities for Agencies by seeking help for projects separate from AORs and seeking out specialty Agencies with specialty services. Page12 We see this first hand with our RSW/US Agency clients. More of them have won business this year than any year in the past. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  13. 13. The increased enthusiasm will bring with it increased competition among Agencies to win business from Marketers - and increased aggressiveness in their approach. 79% of Agency principals believe the world of finding new business and building their business will get much more competitive in 2014 - and consequently, as noted below, 86% of Agencies plan on getting more aggressive in how they handle their new business efforts. Agencies % Of Agencies Stating That They Will Get "Somewhat" Or "Much More" Aggressive In Their Approach To Winning New Business In Upcoming Year 2014: 2013: 2012: 2011: 86% 82% 82% 77% Page13 Implications: If you are doing nothing, or doing very little, or only passively managing an inbound program, you need to dial it up if you're to succeed in the world of new business. Despite claims that Marketers use Google to find their next Agency, for example, they aren't (as was pointed out the outset of this report). Competition has increased over the years with the market becoming more fragmented and with more players entering the market. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  14. 14. The playing field is also getting more competitive because Marketers are involving more Agencies in searches than in years prior. Agencies Marketers % of Agencies AND Marketers Stating That They Are In More Situations Where Multiple Agencies Are Being Considered for a Marketer's Business Marketers 43% 34% Implications: When presented with an opportunity to pitch a Marketer's business, don't be afraid to ask the tough questions - #1 of which is: How many Agencies are involved in the search - and a close #2: Is the incumbent involved? Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page14 2014: 2013: Agencies 63% 59%
  15. 15. Our next series of questions center on Agencies' and Marketers' expectations for spending changes in 2014. As always, there are some interesting differences that exist between the two groups - differences that should be considered carefully as you plan your way through the coming year. The competitive nature of the market is expected to increase next year - as is the expectation of Marketers' spends (as we'll see next). We suspect a big part of this comes from a boost in confidence stemming from perceptions that the economic recovery is a bit more “real” and, despite Washington's faltering approval ratings, their inertia will have minimal impact on the state of the advertising world. In 2013, 52% of Agencies believed that the inertia would have an impact on 2013 activity. As noted below, that number is significantly lower (34%) as we head into next year. Let's hope it rings true! Page15 Agencies Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  16. 16. While Marketers' confidence doesn't jump quite as much as Agencies', there is still evidence of positive outcomes for the advertising and marketing world in 2014. Not only are Marketers more positive (with only 36% believing the political inertia in Washington will impact their activities compared to 44% in 2013), but the strength of the "No's" increased significantly (from 34% in 2013 to 45% in 2014), suggesting greater confidence to come this year. Marketers Page16 Implications: Marketers seem ready to spend. Are you ready to assume responsibility of their spending? As we'll see next, Marketers plan on investing more, are savvier with their spending (spending in more efficient and productive media) and are driving more of it into non-traditional media. If your Agency isn't prepared to better analyze/measure ROI and support a smart, strategic digital program, you need to get moving...quickly. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  17. 17. When Marketers and Agencies are asked what they plan to spend (or in the case of Agencies, what they expect Marketers to spend) the news is very positive. 50% of Marketers expect to increase "somewhat" or "significantly" their marketing spends in 2014 - as compared to last year's paltry 38% level. Agencies are seemingly in tune with their Marketing counterparts - as they too expect their Marketing partners to increase spend at similar levels. 60% of Agencies expect to see Marketers "somewhat" or "significantly" increase spends in 2014. Marketers % of Agencies AND Marketers That Expect Marketing Spending To Increase "Somewhat" or "Significantly" In Upcoming Year Marketers 50% 38% 41% 44% Implications: Even if you don't have time to put together a full-up outreach effort (that includes calling and mailing), at the very least put together a program that keeps insights and your Agency's name in front of desirable prospects via an electronic media program. Build up a strong list of prospects, create a template for your email (we call them VAEs - value added emails - that include content that brings value to your prospects), offer insights that can benefit them, and track activity so you can create an on-going "warm" list of prospects to pursue - enabling you to focus your efforts (via phone, email, mail, and social) and make your prospecting time more productive. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page17 2014: 2013: 2012: 2011: Agencies 60% 53% 55% 60%
  18. 18. Marketers' investment in their marketing activities seems likely to spill over into other areas of their business (e.g. people, technology, sales), as 75% of Marketers state they anticipate 2014 will be an investment year for them/their company. Same holds true for Agencies, with 96% of them stating the same. Marketers % of Agencies AND Marketers That Expect Spending On Their Business (In General) To "Somewhat" Or "Heavily" Increase In Upcoming Year 2014: 2013: Agencies 96% 87% Marketers 75% 57% Page18 Implications: If you're one of those "wait and see" kind of Agencies, stop waiting and start acting. During the past two Mirren Agency New Business Development conferences in NYC, Marketer panels told Agencies they are more and more critical of the ROI investment in the marketing dollars they're spending. You either have to invest in the talent and technology or find a solid partner you can align with when you're out on pitches for new business. Marketers are ok with strategic alliances - so long as they’re legitimate, have some history, and have some results to speak of. Don't be shy...better to go for it than say to yourself "we don't have it, so we can't make a run at it." Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  19. 19. The need to strengthen your presence in the social and digital space is more pronounced than ever. Most Marketers who come to us on the RSW/AgencySearch side of our business do so because they feel their current full service firm isn't cutting it in the digital and social space. They might be "doing things"...but they aren't pushing and keeping the marketer on top of what's current, most efficient and productive. 74% of Marketers expect to see "somewhat" or "significantly" higher spends in digital marketing/media and 61% expect to see the same increases in social media in 2014. This compares to only 28% stating the same about traditional media. Marketers As point of example, the following year-to-year comparison showcases Marketers' changes in attitude about investing in SEO. % of Marketers That Expect Spending To Increase "Somewhat" Or "Significantly" On SEO In Upcoming Year 2014: 2013: 2012: 2011: Marketers 51% 42% 49% 40% Page19 Implications: Don't sit idly by. The world is moving faster and faster every day. As we'll see, Marketers tell us their vision of the ideal Agency five years out is nimble, fastmoving, on top of technology, and more a business partner than an advertising agency. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  20. 20. Our next series of questions center on the value Agencies and Marketers place on specialization. In 2013 I attended a MCAN agency conference in San Francisco where much of the discussion among Agencies focused on the fact that many of them (of different "specialties") were encroaching on each other's space - in essence blurring the lines relative to Agency offerings - making it difficult for them to distinguish themselves. When asked, virtually all (85%) Agencies stated they have a specialty of some kind. This is a good thing in the eyes of the Marketer because as noted below, 88% of Marketers believe that "specialization" is "somewhat" or "very" important when deciding to hire a new Agency. Marketers Page20 Implications: So the natural next question is "how much?" How much specialization is needed to make it make a difference? We wish there was a perfect answer, but unfortunately there isn't. Depends on the individual...but as we'll see next, Marketers gave us guidelines to help you best shape your Agency going forward. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  21. 21. Specialty doesn't just have to be by industry or can be both if you choose to operate that way. 45% of Agencies state they have an industry specialty. 34% state both. Only 21% of the sample of Agencies surveyed stated they have a media specialty. Agencies Page21 Implications: With Marketers stressing the importance of some kind of specialization, it’s key Agencies think about what makes them different/better. Today Marketers are looking for more than Agencies that create pretty ads. They need a smart, strategic partner who understands and helps guide them through the murky waters of their competitive space. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  22. 22. So what qualifies as a specialty? In a search RSW/AgencySearch ran in 2013 for a hospital in Michigan, the winning Agency had a fair amount of hospital experience, but they also brought a lot of other good perspective to the table. One of the losing Agencies was 100% focused on hospitals and they presented what looked like a cookie-cutter campaign from a recent hospital win. Marketers tell us that, in general, they don't need 100% to make them happy. In fact, 77% of Marketers consider an Agency a specialist if they have 26%-75% focused on their sector. Marketers Implications: This is the age-old struggle. We see it all the time with our Agency clients - the ones we represent as their outsourced business development/lead generation firm. They struggle in not wanting to exclude anyone that might venture to their site. There's an easy way around it: find 2-3 sectors you're particularly strong in, identify those prominently on your site and give the "all others" the opportunity to see other work with an "Other Client Work" tab. In our study, 67% of Agencies stated they specialize in 2-4 sectors. Page22 Bottom line, it's best to use specialization as a means of differentiation and value. As we'll see at the end of this report, Marketers think the Agency of the future will be nimble and fast moving - and also bring value, perspective, and insights to help move the Marketer's business forward. A partner is what they envision having...not just an Agency. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  23. 23. The trend appears to be moving in the direction of greater specialization. Not only anecdotally do we see it when we manage searches for Marketers, but we also see it in our surveys. Both Marketers and Agencies are recognizing the importance of this trend - even when looking a year back we're seeing shifts in how important specialization is viewed. Marketers % of Agencies AND Marketers That Said "Specialization" Is More Important Today Than It Was 3-4 Years Ago 2014: 2013: Agencies 74% 62% Marketers 52% 47% Implications: If you're going to promote your Agency as a "specialist", you have to go well beyond just creating a few tabs on your website to call-out your work. You'll need to live it across multiple platforms: blogging, speaking, white papers and case studies, which all need to speak to your unique insights and understanding of what's happening in your client's or prospective client's category, today and in the future. RSW/AgencySearch often asks questions in RFIs during our searches that focus on the value an Agency partner can potentially bring to the table by asking questions like: "What does the future of the agency world look like?”, “How is it changing?”, “What are the implications for category "abc"?” and “How is your Agency prepared to help "prospective client" see their way through it?”. Page23 Bringing Agencies on board that deliver this perspective are a huge win for a Marketer's business. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  24. 24. Our second to last section focuses on a topic we've covered for the past 3-4 years: Digital-only Agencies. We have long believed that Digital-only firms will have limited appeal in the market - especially if they only operate as a creative digital shop. While there will always be a place for highly specialized firms, most Marketers need their digital shops to strategize and execute in an integrated fashion. Only focusing on the world of digital media has, and will, prove limiting to most firms operating in the space. Over the years, the "threat" of digital-only firms has declined - while the "threat" from digital shops with traditional chops has grown. Agencies feel the same way about the "threat" digital-only and digital with traditional expertise presents to full service firms. In many cases, when having to make the tough choice of traditional with limited digital experience or digital with limited traditional...Marketers will often choose the latter. Marketers % of Marketers That Said Digital-Only Shops Versus Digital With Traditional Expertise Are A Large Threat To Full Service Agencies 2014: 2013: Digital Only Digital w/Traditional Skills 23% 43% 27% 35% Page24 Implications: This is one reason why Agencies and Marketers find Digital a more competitive space generally. There are more firms competing in spaces they never have before - in part because Marketers are demanding it. While Marketers want expertise, they still need firms that can play in an integrated, strategic way. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  25. 25. Agencies and Marketers are also well aligned when asked if digital-only shops need to offer traditional services (or at least know how to effectively play and integrate in this space) if they are to survive. 76% of Marketers and 77% of Agencies state they believe it's "somewhat" to "very" important for a digital firm to possess these skills. Marketers Page25 Agencies Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  26. 26. And our final question is an interesting one as it seemed to prove fairly thought provoking, producing what should be useful insight for you and your Agency. We asked Marketers and Agencies to describe (in one run-on sentence) what they think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now. There were many commonalities between Marketers and Agencies. A sampling of predictions both groups mentioned as likely to be valued among Agencies 5 years from now included:        Strong digital and analytical expertise Content over creative Smaller, agile agencies Agencies that can operate in real time Firms that understand the art and science of integration Firms that understand Marketing technology Small boutiques There were also a number of predictions Marketers called out that could prove important to Agencies - ones that Agencies did not readily mention:        Mid-size agencies will get squeezed and have trouble surviving Agencies need to be on top of trends while still maintaining a strong understanding and hold on traditional, proven advertising methods A need for more sophisticated data mining Very flexible with third party contractors Puts equal weight on business results and marketing Focused on ROI They'll look more like General Contractors Page26 The following pages present the open-ended responses to this question (un-edited) among Marketers and Agencies. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  27. 27. Marketer response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now There will be no mid-size players. Our industry will likely see the larger get larger and we'll see a rise in speciality botique agencies. The mid-size agency will either get bought-out or die. Offers traditional advertising with effective digital and social media extensions, all conected to relevant PR and the agency understands the role of all working together. No different. I think marketing agencies will continue to get more competitive and stay on top of trends, specifically digitally. consolidation into larger agencies that offer all aspects of the marketing niche with specialty divisions based on certain industries and growing number of small "mom and pop" consultants that focus on specific area (eg, SEO, social, editing, design, etc) Proficient in strategy building and integration into marketing plan with a holistic integrated approach to tactical actions across all touch points both B2B and B2C. Greater one-stop shop experience and more advanced digital creative solutions Leaner, giving quicker turn-around, interested in results. Non-existent or very niche On top of all the latest trends while still maintaining a strong understanding and hold on traditional proven advertising methods Little difference in the next 5 years. customer oriented, highly efficient, creative and aggressive Digital will continue to evolve, so they must be flexible and aware, but creative, not capability, will still be king. Much more sophisticated in data mining to understand impact, consumer behaviors and channel effectiveness to drive more effective the marketing strategy. Pretty ads are not sufficient. needs the ability to integrate all communication tactics into one plan with less silo campaigns. A mix of niche shops (by industry or discipline) and giant agencies with very little in the middle. An array -- with everything from full service capabilities, fully integrated offerings to very niche, quirky and creative small shops. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page27 Heavily digital focused and more crowded.
  28. 28. . Marketer response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now internet driven very little personal contacts Mostly grass root engagement, video production etc. Mostly digital agencies optimizing organizations' ability to produce high-quality content and leverage social and emerging online channels for constituent engagement. Don't know Who knows. It's impossible to predict where any thing will be in five years given the everevolving state of our world. Not much different. More on-line based. successful agencies will either have the ability to function in analog as well as digital spaces OR will become very flexible with third party contractors supplementing the skills the agency may not have - partnerships between agencies and those vendors will become very important. As communication landscape continues to fragment, agencies will need to fragment to ensure some degree of specialisation Mostly digital, content focused with lots of video, images and target strategies/tactics to reach top audience targets Smart, creative, capable, fluid, knowledgeable consumer problem solvers specializing in various verticals and using more digital than traditional Almost all digital transformed The agency of the future will specialize in my industry, assess the industry trends, be abreast of the industry regulations and will proactively recommend campaigns to me based on my stated goals. Very analytical approach. Data and the new ability to capture, manipulate, and analyze marketing data of all forms, traditional, digital, and social data. This will drive how companies target their marketing efforts. Multi-faceted agency that puts equal weight on business results and marketing. Page28 Bigger agencies will have acquired a greater understanding of digital and social, and will have the right people onboard to execute programs for clients who may today select a boutique. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  29. 29. Marketer response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now It will be an agency staffed by people who formerly worked at clients and those people will truly combine in their personal and professional life the digital tools used for communications but too many agencies will be focused on tactics and not enough on strategies to help clients grow business. A combination of digital and traditional marketing services to meet the needs of a variety of clients Very different from what they currently look like now more of a Consulting trend Offer strategic planning with great expertise in traditional and digital/interactive marketing focused in our industry. Heacier digital, more focused on category One that is even more focused on ROI, particularly in the digital/social media worlds that provides real-time monitoring/evaluation information. complex Same as today but with more emphasis on strategic planning social media management traditional agencies will need to have deep digital & (google) analytical skills in order to compete Smaller, fewer employees, freelance, focused primarily on digital/social media As technology advances, marketing agencies will need to do their jobs in new ways to stay competitive - real-time marketing automation, dynamic personaliztion, responsible use of big data, etc. I have no idea Agencies will need to evolve and embrace newer mediums, like digital in order to survive. Advertisers like myself are looking for smart, creative agencies that develop breakthrough creative and understand the entire consumer experience. I dont have an opinion. they will have to have the abilty to turn concepts into reality faster than ever before. Page29 I think the medium firms may be replace more by online alternatives due to lower budgets. digital Specialized and selective with multiple players Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  30. 30. Marketer response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now Marketing agencies must push to prove they add value which is done by producing great programs that produce quantifiable results which means good agencies will be willing to partner with clients and get paid based on what results they produce. Agnecies will run leaner and will focus more on digital and mobile. contain specialized media experts working in tandem with graphics and copy personnel formating cohesive campaigns across all media channels. Tough increase in digital emphasis full service in house - I find the traditional guys are trying to morph to be more like the digital guys - it will be interesting to see where it all falls out. All the little guys will be gobbled up by the big guys and there will ultimately be only a handful of large players in the market. Increasingly competitive with increased pressure for cost validation and efficiency I predict the number of agencies that specialize will increase substantially and there will be agencies that specialize in VERY specific demographic segments, such as moms with babies, dual working parents with children under 14 yrs, adults with parents living at home, single moms, etc. The marketing agency will either be a large shop covering all facets of maketing or the brand will be supported by multiple boutique shops covering digital, media, ccm, crm, consumer, professional, etc. To thrive, I think marketing agencies will need to be very expert at understanding and following the target audience wherever it leads. One that continues to evolve and be on the cutting edge of new technology and still understand how to market to different segments / demographics. collaboration across multiple agencies and freelancers to support the needs of the client very digitally focused and less traditional but a portion will have to have traditional aspects Very in depth web services with which will then push much more highly targeted traditional media activities extinct agencies will need to have a blend of digital and traditional full service offerings Page30 Will consolidate into 2-3 major agencies, offering industry specific marketing across all available venues Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  31. 31. Marketer response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now Everyone will (or should) have capabilities across all media, digital or "traditional" and will be able to show the effectiveness of all types since the consumer is now reachable through social there's no reason your marketing tactics can't interact with them regardless of the medium. Agencieswill look more like General contractors where they actually go out and bring in lots of specialists, preferably the best specialist , to execute against individual tactics and they manage the entire campaign. The digital world will take over a lot of the marketing throughout. Highly digital and industry focused. A Medium sized and nimble specialist shop of talented creative, with very limited account managers. Strong concentration on digital and social media service with fewer agencies. More focused on content creation to leverage digital (long form) and social media (short form) Leaner organization with transactional work being done by low paid and often transitory staff and higher order work done by a small cadre of highly skilled and experienced leaders who understand the client's business and truly own the relationships A fully optimized digital expereince specializing in video, SEO, and socual media as to meet the needs of the changing market full service, but with more emphasis on strategy and brand very decentralized, working with various with multiple contacts at the same client, taking different levels of role from advisor to doing the work Small efficient agencies that scale up or down based on clients needs and changing channel dynamics I think it will be more digitally focused and specialized. The big name agencies will become smaller (they already are). We may see the reintegration of media planning to the creative aor Reduction. In companies Agencies will consolidate or create relationships with others to compliment their capabilities. More digital, less traditional, but to be successful, better personalized customer service The agency world will splinter into specialized smaller agencies who will have to align Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page31 Virtual agencies of specialists
  32. 32. Marketer response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now More agencies working on a project basis Marketers will pick a lead agency that is able to reach I to their network to bring the best work, leveraging agencies, Startups and other partners for innovation More interactive. One that is fluid enough to adapt to the ever changing retail landscape but can draw on lessons learned from the past to deliver a fully integrated brand strategy Unfortunately no creativity just metrics as in all service industries they will consolidate to reduce back end business costs and spread cost of technology More "digitally"capable and possibly less likely to place media buys given the popularity of media buying organizations and the tighter marketing budgets clients need to work with. I don't know Page32 A one stop marketing resource. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  33. 33. Agency response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now Larger Heavily reliant on technology to derive insights from data that drive tactical marketing decisions. More and more firms will need to fully understand the digital space in order to survive. Fortunately, we are already strong in this area. Lots of hybrids -- we won't use words like traditional agency and digital agency. Just marketing communication. Marketing agencies will be led by their ability to generate content, with visual creativity still important, but not the key selling point. heavy technology driven, traditional and digital combined, small agile teams, more real time, more one-on-one marketing There will be more different types and sizes of agencies than ever before, some trying to be full service, some trying to be specialized boutiques, some in-between making choice for clients even more difficult. Not sure but it will be different than it is today a real mix of traditional and digital with more opportunities in the digital and virtual space but I believe some will get tired of the digital experience and want traditional I think it will be divided between the commodity providers and the serious, strategic consultant/ partners - with an 80/20% proportion. Integrated, wholistic, engaged in a multi-channel universe. Highly specialized and accountable Even more focused on return and business advancement; less on project output. More boutique shops A blend of math, science and art where brand storytelling will still be the key, but it will be more backed up by science and math of response rates and ROI analytics. specialized, targeted audience of clients doing work on a per project basis A tradigital approach compounded with unique storytelling. I believe it will be very consultative with firms specializing in categories and having deeper impact on the clients business. More competitive and full of much larger firms as opposed to so many small firms. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page33 Agencies that are fluid, flexibile, and wedded enough to their clients to anticipate needs while still being sought after outside experts in strategy, creative, and exceptional areas will thrive.
  34. 34. Agency response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now More moderately sized, agile, and specialized shops with less and less distinctions between "traditional" and "digital". Your survey is quite a bit longer than your estimate. Effective only if brands will allow a presence in unexpected markets. The use of big data will have a huge impact on the marketing agency and those who understand how to use that information will be the leaders Continue to get more competitive and new pricing models evolving Digitally focused with an expertise in PR and traditional advertising while focusing on special market segments. more competitive, more integrated Specialization will continue to grow. Clients want competence and accountability. Increased opportunity to evolve service model to better meet the needs of clients I fully anticipate we'll go through a swell of independent contractor centricity again as high demand titles, like developers, leave the agency world in favor of making it on their own. Assuming they remain turned off by the concept of marketing themselves though...I think it may actually serve agencies well. Integrated. like Droga5 looks now media neutral with digital and traditional converging Heavy digital focus with more analytics that actually work. Google will rule more in the B2B space than it has in the past. Many shops competiting... more digital shops, more fragmentation, more specialty More digital, more social, both media and creative together: strong analytics and research capabilities. Consolidation among media agencies; more smart mid sized agencies blending social, PR, branding, content, etc. It will be more digital I think we'll see both business analysts and technology specialists become more prominent in agency environments. A increasingly digital-first world that moves beyond full service and into integrated service models. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page34 Marketing agency term will be replaced with communications connectors.
  35. 35. Agency response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now Increasingly fragmented, competitive and with technology playing a bigger role. Digital will be part of traditional services, and agencies will need to address multicultural consumers in their mainstream advertising. Earned and paid media with plenty of social. Clients will seek specialized agencies that have impressive "data and analytics" services. Data and analytics capabilities will be driving agency new business acquisition and client satisfaction over the next few years. I believe (and hope) that successful, sustainable companies in the marketing agency world will be rooted in business-building ideas not channels for distributing those ideas There will be shakeout and continued pressure on pricing and fees. The key will be to invent value and deliver that which others can't easily duplicate it. Survivors, and there will be few that make the transition will all be digital shops Advertisers will continue to push in the direction of in-house agencies for perceived cost efficiency and continue to collect the bottom half of communications professionals in their cubicle farms until they realize an outside perspective is in fact quite valuable and that the people who are the best and brightest in the agency world have no interest in working in house on one client. Connecting people to ideas to take action Lots of smaller, specialty firms that have as much business from larger agencies as they do from clients Highly integrated across traditional and digital platforms more focused on measurable tactics than ever We will continue to offer fully integrated strategic communications consulting and execution, remain channel agnostic in service to our clients' needs different. More agencies will be acquired but otherwise it will look the same. Looking at the overall client business and all channels under one strategy with multiple diverse but aligned programs. More small specialty shops competing for business, more growth in digital and mobile, better targeting. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page35 Digital and tech driven with mobile and localization being the main drivers of need
  36. 36. Agency response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now Healthy Haves and have nots--a huge chasm between the mega agencies and the smaller niche shops. Its going to be harder and harder to show value. I believe that brand advocacy will trump all other forms of media as it becomes more scalable, measurable and manageable. The agency world will break into three defined service deliveries/agency types: 1) branding/ innovation agencies, 2) automated media buying agencies and 3) content management/one-toone relationship management agencie. No one knows. The key is to honestly deliver on what you do best and remain nimble enough to adopt new tools to tell the best stories and be most relevant. Agencies will be marketing communication content providers, curators and distributers for all media channels not just advertising developers and placement agencies. digital will be at the center of strategy More video, strategy, big data Analytics and activation. a convergence between traditional and digital and media and creative agencies will continue to take place .. the race towards the middle will continue with the inners being tadigitalcredia agencies Full service agencies which do well in strategy and brand and who get strategic communications will add a lot of resources to the digital and mobile space in order to thrive and survive. The divide between traditional and digital agencies won't matter as only an integrated agency with an understanding and ability to execute in both will remain relevant. Messy. Completely user-driven, predictive, algorithmic. Largely consolidated and media agnostic Very different than it does now. More integrated, more social It will be far more driven by metrics and dashboards that clearly communicate value to the client thought leader in the healthcare, hospitality and restaurant industries. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111 Page36 More oriented toward digital strategy
  37. 37. Agency response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now Big networks will get bigger, there will be more smaller specialized shops, and the currently called small/mid-size full service privately-owned agency will have to change its model to talent aggregator (of all sorts of disciplines) as opposed to attempting to have all talents under one roof higher expectations from clients in terms of agency expertise, responsiveness, project turn times and aggressive, assertive, digital, fast-responsive, cost-efficient, small in staff and high in consultants and specialists, brining confidence and trust to the clients. . More competitive, diverse and specialized A mix of digital agencies and traditional agencies that have myriad digital sub-contractor partners The successful agency of the future will be one that can provide complete integrated marketing programs to the vertcial industry it specializes in. Regretfully, it will probably be filled with more technology and mathematical folks who will be more excited about the newest technology than about the creative end of the business. Highly specialized firms that get very good at one practice area with staff trained across marketing disciplines I think that marketing technology will play a much larger role in all agencies....not just the very big ones. In 5 years, agencies will not be lead by creative, they will be lead by data to inform all other areas. no comment expertise in field-- fast to react-- GREAT creative-- low cost-- show results ROI. I see that we have added services to our firm from what we had 25 years ago - but we are still a firm that offers marketing assistance and outside viewpoints to clients that know and understand that they have limited resources internally. And I think we all have to realize that the days of the very large traditional agencies are over. They will be smaller, nimble and affordable. As we approach 2020, the marketing agency will be a streamlined, downsized version of today's model, with key personnel in place to drive the agency, but fewer staffers, allowing the agency to outsource or bring in freelance talent that fits the clients' needs in an effort to offer a wider offering of talent with a better skill set, while dramatically reducing overhead and operating costs as corporate purchasing departments continue to "beat down" agencies on fees and compensation. (now that's quite the run-on sentence!) There will never be a one size fits all agency model. Some clients like to cherry pick specialist agencies, so they know they're getting best in class. Others prefer integrated agencies. there will be specialists that will emerge from the wild west digital arena and they will have an edge over traditional agencies who will try to bring digital in house but won't understand how to create effective campaigns for customers across all channels. Page37 Emphasis will be on results and how they are implemented to drive performance for clients. For the few left standing, its an online world. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111
  38. 38. Agency response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now small boutique full service agency Continue down the path that digital is the be all and end of marketing without realizing that brand messaging using traditional media is still the ,ost important aspect of the business There will be a bigger divide between high-value creative and specialty boutiques and large, full-service agencies with less opportunity in the middle. Increased specialization with agencies relying more on developing engaging experiences for consumers in order to connect with consumers. Strategic, with a mix of talent to deliver all the different tactics and tools according to a master plan. not sure Much more collaborative. Agencies will survive best by working together. I think that a lot of the agency marketplace is heading in the same direction - full service and totally competent at marketing in a digital world. Much like it does today, with big agencies trying to figure out what's next, while the smaller, more innovative agencies rewrite what's possible. We believe the new full service agency will actually be a team of specialists capable of providing all the essential services a client may need but at a performance level every bit as strong as skilled as those provided by the so-called specialist firms. Full service consulting firms Leaner, making a smaller profit margin, taking advantage of bigger capabilities for execution in less time at the expense of truly creative work. Brand Activation across multiple silos. The big guys will have all consolidated into a few massive holding companies and there will be very few medium agencies left, but tons of smaller firms. The marketing Agency world will be wonderfully diverse, with shops local and global, big and small, traditional and otherwise with absolutely no one "right" universal solution. The room will be much more heavily populated with digital savants and data scientists We will build a marketing strategy based around the website--which will be primarily accessed through mobile devices--but will still need to get attention in traditional ways to drive people to the web for information and sales. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © Page38 Similar (if only 5 years) 513-559-3111
  39. 39. Agency response to the question: Please describe (in one, run-on sentence) what you think the Marketing Agency world will look like 5 years from now I think there will be more specialization EXCEPT in smaller markets, full integration goes down better (there are fewer specialized firms to grab market share) Chaos ;-) Actually, I think it will look a good bit different than it does today. A large # of agencies are still tied to traditional practices and processes yet the environment has changed/continues to change drastically. Some will die, some will transition, but the industry will look very different. Even more digital, measurement and marketing automation will require better strategy and creative to do the things clients can't do on their own. Consolidated and more specialized Assuming deep industry expertise and a core staff with relevant skill set is still the initial qualifier, I think idea generation will remain the highest value service agencies provide. More digital, more specialists, more accountability to ROI, less wasteful mass media. consumer's purchase path at center focused on modular content development to influence purchase Large mega-shops and industry specialists with fully integrated digital/traditional solutions The marketing agencies need to form partnerships and work as one unit with specialist competencies. The mid size independent will be gone. Only small nimble cheap agencies and ultra large conglomerates will be left. Clients will seek firms with specific areas of expertise. This will be centered on analytics. Creative and design will be viewed as commodities. There will be a shift to consulting firms trying to play in the marketing area. we will see Page39 The marketing agency of the future will be well versed in traditional marketing strategies and tactics while completely understanding how digital drives consumer engagement and connects with the consumer as close to the final sale as possible, providing clients with actionable metrics on a daily basis. Copyright RSW//US, GP 2014 © 513-559-3111