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RSWUS-Agencies-New-Business-Outlook-Jan2014Roughly 7 in 10 agencies believe that the number of new business opportunities this year will increase relative to last year, a step up from 60% who responded that way last year, according to [download page] survey results from RSW/US. Those opportunities won’t come without competition, though – and as a result, the vast majority of agencies will get much (47.9%) or somewhat (38%) more aggressive in their approach to winning new business. That will be necessary, as more than 6 in 10 agencies are finding themselves in more situations where they are being evaluated alongside multiple other agencies for a marketer’s business. Marketers agree, though not to the same extent: 43% say they are in more situations than in the past 3-4 years where multiple agencies are being considered for their business.

Much as RSW/US found in a similar survey fielded last year, a strong majority of marketers feel that it is important that the agency they hire specializes in their industry, with respondents generally feeling that an industry specialty is more important than a media specialty. Consistent with last year’s research, only about 1 in 10 marketers feel that more than 75% of an agency’s business much be focused on an industry for it to be considered a specialist.

Other Findings:

  • Marketers most often find out about new agencies through referrals from friends and colleagues (47.9%) and calls/emails from agencies (32.4%).
  • 8 in 10 marketers find the RFI/RFP process to still be effective.
  • Three-quarters of agencies are blogging. While 42% feel that it is an effective marketing strategy, a slight majority aren’t sure. Still, 7 in 10 marketers surveyed claim to read marketing agency blogs.
  • Only 3 in 10 agencies feel that their inbound marketing program has been effective at helping them win new business.
  • A bare majority (52%) of marketers feel that agency specialization is more important now than it was 3-4 years ago.
  • Fewer than 1 in 4 marketers believe that digital-only shops are a very large threat to traditional, full-service agencies.
  • 3 in 4 marketers feel that it is at least somewhat important for digital firms to offer traditional media services in order to survive long-term. A similar proportion of agencies agree.

About the Data: The 2014 RSW/US New Year Outlook Survey was completed by 150 senior level marketers and 170 marketing agency executives during December, 2013.

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