Brands Employing More Marketing Agencies

Brands are using more marketing agencies to fulfill an increasingly diverse set of needs, a new survey reports. For the first time since 2009, more marketers are using two or more agencies than the previous year – 74% this year compared to 62% last year.

RSW/US, an outsourced lead generation firm that commissioned the survey, attributes the shift to hundreds of inquiries that brands receive from marketing agencies, “creating a bounty of potential firms to choose from that can bring them new ideas and new thinking and new skills,” the report states.  “We believe the other reason more marketers are using multiple agencies is because they need to. With the speed of technology changes, the demands for proven ROI, and the thinning of the marketing ranks, there is a need to tap into multiple agencies to find the right fit agency to meet their changing business and marketing needs.”

However, only 16% of brands plan to add marketing agencies in the next year, compared to 37% last year – indicating that even as brands employed more agencies, this expansion is not limitless. “They’re looking at and trying new firms … but they don’t appear to be dramatically increasing the numbers of firms on their roster [in the future],” the report concludes.

Overall, 62% of marketers said they will increase their marketing spending in 2016, the fourth straight year the figure has increased and an 11% jump from last year. A significant number of brands anticipated increased spending in digital (79.6%), social media (61.2%) and mobile (53.7%) compared to traditional media (34%).

When brands were asked for the most important services marketing agencies will provide to them in 2016, they cited creative (55.4%), digital marketing development and management (42.1%) and brand strategy (33.9%) as their top three. Top complaints by marketers about agencies include a lack of understanding of their industry and company, as well as agencies who claim they are “full service” but lack expertise in key areas.