Unhappiness with an existing agency’s strategy or thinking is the leading reason US marketers bring in competing agencies for review, according to data compiled in March 2011 by agency/client relationship advisers RSW/US. The “2011 New Business Report: A Client’s Look Ahead at Agencies” shows that 40% of respondents cited this factor, followed by unhappiness with creative (37%).
Cost Management Comes in Fifth
Somewhat surprisingly, an agency’s inability to manage or control costs only ranks fifth, cited by 20% of respondents. Both lack of proactivity (28%) and “other” (25%) ranked ahead of cost management (multiple responses accepted to this question).
Most Marketers Review 3-5 Agencies
When Marketers initiate a search for a new agency, study data shows they are more than likely to start by looking at three to five firms (with 69% stating such) before hearing a final pitch. Only 14% consider six or more, while 18% consider one or two (total equals more than 100% due to rounding).
Type of Agency Biggest Factor in Selection
Beyond these two factors, word of mouth was clearly the most popular influencer on marketers’ selection of an agency. Thirty-eight percent said advice or recommendation from another marketer, and 36% said advice or recommendation from a colleague.
Understanding, Creativity Key to Pitch
Seventy-seven percent of marketers agreed that demonstrating an understanding of their market is among the most critical aspects of an agency pitch. Seventy-two percent said the creativity presented is also among the most critical aspects. Understanding and creativity also resonate through the next two most popular aspects, understanding company direction (63%) and offering something fresh and new (60%).
Social Media Has Little Influence on Search
Other study data shows that agency searches and agency selections for searches are little influenced by social media. Only 5% of marketers state they always use social media to help them identify agencies when involved in a search, and a combined 12% give social media’s influence rating a score of eight or higher on a 10-point scale.
Meanwhile, 28% of marketers say they never use social media to identify agencies, and a combined 54% give social media’s influence rating a score of three or lower.
About the Data: The “2011 New Business Report: A Client’s Look Ahead at Agencies” was completed by 174 key marketing decision makers from across the US during March 2011. This study was commissioned by RSW/US.