Senior marketers feel let down by their agencies at a time when they need them the most, according to new research from alan, the recently-rebranded marketing agency arm of Raconteur.
A survey of 600 senior marketers (CMO or equivalent) across the UK and Ireland revealed that two fifths (42 percent) believe that their agency partners don’t act in the organisation’s best interests, one in four (26 percent) don’t think their agencies understand their objectives, and a third (31 percent) feel that they don’t get value for money.
The findings come at a time when senior marketers are under immense pressure, following budget cuts (experienced by 53 percent), headcount reductions (43 percent), and generally having to achieve more with less (71 percent). Two fifths (40 percent) of marketers feel less secure in their role compared to six months ago, while over two thirds (68%) say it is more important than ever that they prove return on investment (ROI) of marketing activities.
Yet, despite these challenges, there are significant opportunities for agencies to show their clients what they are capable of. Covid-19 has accelerated the shift from offline to online, according to over half of respondents (56 percent), while 43 percent see brand awareness as a top priority for 2020/2021. Furthermore, nearly a third of senior marketers (30 percent) say they want to be bolder and more daring with campaigns, and 39% say they lack strategic marketing expertise in-house.
“The current crisis has given agencies a chance to go the extra mile for clients and showcase their creativity, but our findings suggest that many haven’t stepped up to the plate,” commented Benedict Buckland, Creative Director, alan. “With senior marketers under pressure like never before, it’s important that agencies listen to their needs and concerns, with the aim of adding value where it really matters. We as an industry have an opportunity to experiment and influence strategy at a time when brand building is more important than ever.”
The biggest agency frustrations named by marketers were speed of delivery (39 percent), transparency around time frames (37 percent) and refusal to commit to results (35 percent). Furthermore, two out of three said their agency partners lack substance and depth (66 percent).