We’re running a new survey to take a deep dive in to how brand-agency relationships were handled in a year like no other. As well as how resource and relationships have been impacted, we’re also exploring how marketers are currently managing a new landscape where self-preservation is no longer the only consideration.
What challenges are brands facing?
Despite existing client or customer retention being considered the ‘least challenging’ issue in the past year so far, businesses aren’t yet ‘back to normal’.
The most challenging issues so far – taking up almost half of the overall submissions – are centred on revenue growth and resource management. Similarly, the least popular submissions for ‘most challenging’ are brand awareness and industry competition respectively, with just a single submission so far.
Allocating marketing resource
Freelance support is the least common form of marketing resource for brands based on the survey so far, with just under a third of brands stating that they use freelancers in their marketing suite. A single retained agency is most common with more than half of the brands using an individual agency partner, followed by around 40% of brands stating that they use multiple agencies.
On the split between digital and creative, Agency support is far less common on creative. Only 7~% of brands claimed they allocate the majority of creative resource to agencies, where more than 20% allocate the majority of digital resource to the same.
A massive point in the survey results so far comes with the statement ‘I believe digital is the key to success this year’ receiving more than 85% ‘Yes’ responses.
The year ahead
More than 70% of brands claim that a focus on digital is their primary strategic change in the year ahead, with SEO and Web Development consistently being ranked a top priority – a change from PPC and Creative services the year prior. Content creation remains a steadfast focus point ranking second.
However, there’s still a need to play it safe, it seems. More than 60% of respondents so far have claimed they have no intention of significantly altering their marketing strategy in the next year, primarily due to issues like budget and employee resource holding them back.
Building proper relationships
Though trust is building between brands and agencies (more than 70% of respondents stated that they trust their outsourced partners), the satisfaction rate is still low. In fact, of the marketers that responded so far, 40% answered ‘no’ to the statement, ‘I am happy with my outsourced marketing partners performance this year’.
If you haven’t yet participated, you can add your thoughts by contributing to the survey now. Built for both brands and agencies, get started here and we’ll send you an early access deep dive of the data when we close.