Clients seem to have a general dissatisfaction with the agencies they work with, according to a new online survey carried out by marketing consulting firm Avidan Strategies among 1,900 business leaders in marketing, media, and procurement.
Agencies seem to fail to prove their value, while ROI is really important for the brands. Moreover, clients end up working with even 20 agencies at once, therefore comprehensive coordination is needed. Even if big agencies get the biggest budgets, small and medium size agencies are considered more creative by 73% of the respondents.
“Clients are being asked to deliver more with less and are seeking a ‘better, faster, cheaper’ attitude from agencies” says Avi Dan, founder of Avidan Strategies.85% of the people interviewed think that advertising holding companies have not improved their service to clients. Agencies have business models suited for themselves, not for the clients, say the participants in this survey.
Clients say they have reduced the number of agencies they work with (51% of the respondents), and that they will continue to do so in the future (44%). 69% of the respondents stated that the number of digital agencies will be limited in the future, while 48% said they will cut back on advertising agencies.
71% of the participants in the survey consider agencies need to improve their accountability. Clients want agencies to deliver integrated communication, but 72% of the interviewed people declare that agencies are “inconsistent and need to improve,” while 24% say that “agencies are falling short and not doing a good job.” Marketers also consider that agencies fail to adapt to the new digital environment.
Due to this dissatisfaction in services provided, when reviewing agencies, 90% of the respondents consider creative ideas and strategy as the most important thing, followed by understanding of the client’s business (76%), integration and coordination (56%) and implementation and follow through from agencies (48). 77% of the participants consider there should be a bi-directional evaluation, the client evaluating the agency, and the shop evaluating the client. 58% require an annual evaluation, while 38% think a semi-annual evaluation would be the best choice.
Clients agree that they should improve in some areas too: better briefs (82%), align client/agency teams better (67%), and training (47%).
It is clear that the issues revealed by this survey can be generalized for many other client-agencies relations. The findings of this study should thus act as an alarm signal, especially for the agencies as they need the clients to stay in business, but they also need to meet their expectations. Also, agencies need to be more transparent, and to be able to justify their point of view, especially as they cannot deliver “better, faster, cheaper” in the same time.