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The desire to use fewer agencies

Global – Research findings from The Observatory reveal brands in developed markets prefer to use fewer agencies.

The survey showed that globally, most clients are working with an average of eight agencies. In Asia, 50% of clients are working with an average of 7 agencies on their roster with a desire to downsize.

In the EU and the US, when asked if clients envisaged growing or reducing their rosters, 46% said they would remain the same. 14.5% said they would use more agencies and nearly 40% said they were looking to use fewer agencies in the future.

Unilever in Asia is in the midst of reviewing its digital agency roster for all of its brands. Other brands have also been conducting a spring-cleaning of their roster line-up, sources told Marketing though most brands we contacted were tight-lipped about this development.

“That view endorses what we’re seeing in terms of more and more clients looking for better, more integrated solutions – certainly with regard to digital and we think that mainstream agencies that fail to fully deliver consistently in this area will be in trouble in the future,” Richard Bleasdale, managing partner of The Observatory, Asia Pacific, said.

He added that findings from the survey also showed a desire by client companies in developed markets to use fewer agencies.

“The picture in Asia is somewhat different with over 50% of clients working with an average of seven agencies, with pure play digital usage being very strong – far more so than developed markets where we see that the digital honeymoon is pretty much over,” he said.

The mystique has disappeared somewhat, he added, and whilst clients are totally committed to embracing the medium, it’s now plainly being seen as a crucial part of the channel mix rather than a panacea in its own right and the marketing spectrum is seeing that pure play generalist agencies are being left out in the cold.

The survey was conducted across Europe, North America, South Africa, and Asia Pacific senior marketing and procurement personnel in January this year and had approximately 250 respondents.

The survey asked questions on key issues these clients faced daily such as the types and numbers of agencies marketers are working with, how they are paying them, the amount of time marketers spend with agency types, satisfaction levels, performance and perceived value of agencies and more.

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