Most Marketers Have A Fairly Loose Definition Of Agency Specialization

March 4, 2013

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Agency Business

RSWUS-Marketer-Perspective-Agency-Specialization-Mar2013About 3 in 4 marketers think that it’s somewhat (47%) or very (31%) important that the agency they hire specializes in their industry, per survey results [download page] from RSW/US. Luckily for agencies, though, the threshold for being considered an industry specialist is not too demanding. That is, roughly 6 in 10 marketers surveyed believe that an agency need only have 50% or less of their business focused on an industry in order to be considered a specialist. In fact, only 1 in 10 marketers said that agencies need to devote more than 75% of their business to a specific industry to be considered specialists.

That’s good news for agencies because they tend to specialize in multiple industries: among the 8 in 10 who report having a specialty of some kind, an overwhelming 84% said they specialize in at least 2 industries. In fact, almost two-thirds report specializing in at least 3.

Interestingly, agencies were more likely than marketers to believe that specialization has become more important over time. 62% of agencies said that specialization is more important today than it was 3-4 years ago, compared to 47% of marketers who believe it is more important to use an agency with a specialty today. RSW/US suggests that the discrepancy is due to marketers having always recognized the importance of some degree of specialization, while agencies are only beginning to emphasize this angle as competition heats up.

About the Data: The 2013 RSW/US Agency-Marketer Business Report was completed by 124 senior level Marketers and 130 Agency Principals from Agencies of different types/sizes during January, 2013.

The Agency sample came from the RSW/AgencySearch database of marketing service companies ranging in size from under $5M in capitalized billings to over $100M. The disciplines of each Agency varied from full service advertising to digital, to marketing consultancies.

The Marketer sample came from the RSW/US database of over 30,000 marketing decision maker contacts. Client company size, location, and size varied.

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