Marketing Agencies Need to Prove Value

It’s all over the trades. Marketing agencies are facing consolidation. Clients are demanding a fluid, “Uber-like” on-demand agency relationships.

When big manufacturers and branding gurus like Procter & Gamble Co. and Kimberly-Clark Corp. change the way, they are working with their agencies, the marketing, and advertising world takes note.

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Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard is leading a large-scale agency consolidation at P&G. His reasoning: “Through consolidation, P&G is upgrading, so we can get better quality, fewer touches and save half a billion dollars that we can hopefully reinvest some of back into building our brands.”

What is a marketing agency?

A marketing agency offers a full range of marketing services to help you implement an integrated marketing strategy for all your brand goals.

For instance, you might hire a marketing agency to assess your current marketing strategy and help you create a more compelling brand voice or connect to a broader target audience. The marketing agency might use a combination of on-page SEO, off-page SEO, social media, advertising, and public relations to ensure your business goals are met.

When soliciting help from a marketing agency, you might want to focus your search term further — for instance, and you could search “digital marketing agency near me.” A digital marketing agency will have in-house marketing talent ready to help you with marketing related to digital strategies, including search engine optimization, website design, content marketing, social media marketing, and online advertising.

What is a digital marketing agency?

digital marketing agency is a company that provides a wide assortment of digital marketing services. The agency has numerous client goals, but the ultimate goal is to help you increase your product and service sales through its marketing strategies and efforts.

What is a hybrid marketing agency?

hybrid marketing agency, like Matrix Marketing Group, is a company that provides a wide assortment of digital marketing services, talent, and marketing technology. The hybrid marketing agency has client goals, but the ultimate goal is to help its clients increase web traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales through its marketing strategies and efforts.

Where are Marketing Agencies Headed?

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Have you ever been called by a marketing agency? Did they keep trying to sell you something? Did they push and push? Physics tells us that if you want to move something we use forces to move the objective.

Marketers might be good at some function, but sales are not. You will hear all the buzzwords, like inbound, SEO, conversions, content marketing and it goes on and on.

We have taken a completely different approach. We used a hybrid model of strategy, talent, and technology to design test, and scale marketing campaigns that product results, like more sales.

The objective is to be found and remove barriers to engagement. If we have something you want and the FIT exists, we have a sale.

Proctor & Gamble Co and Kimberly Corp revitalized their use with agencies and involvement. Proctor & Gamble downsized the number of agencies they work with, as K-C switched to using marketing agencies only as project support.

Clive Sirkin, CMO for K-C, pushed for an “Uber-style” model where he has a core group of brand strategists at key partner agencies focused on building the brands’ future development.

Once ideas were strategically planned and approved, they bid out to multiple agencies for execution. Sirkin’s concern with consolidation?

They had agencies transition into review mode, which means all hands-on deck concentrated on keeping the business, but not necessarily driving K-C’s brands forward. The focus revolved around saving face, not the critical KPIs.

This created a new reality for agencies who worked with Proctor & Gamble and Kimberley- Clark.

For other marketing professionals and agencies around, the move of hiring for specific projects would change the partnership between agency and client. It’s a possible sign-in in which marketing professionals feel more pressured.

But, what do marketers and agencies do for situations like Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark?

Marketing methods and strategies have evolved over the years with trends, software, professionals, and agencies due to new aspects and expectations agencies are changing the way they operate internally and externally.

Agencies should take a step back to re-evaluate their strengths and see if the work that is being produced is aligning with the company’s mission.

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The annual RSW/US New Year Outlook surveyed nearly 10,000 marketing service companies in the United States and Canada, from 1M$ to capitalized billings of $500M. 

These marketing agencies included: Advertising, Public Relations, and Marketing Consultants. From this survey, they developed the trends and expectations for agencies in 2020.

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There is a growing disconnect between marketer plans and digital marketing agency expectations for spending

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Marketing spend has flattened out over the past two years, but budget allocations for digital channels are taking up a bigger piece of the pie. 

Many CMOs are using their budgets to make bigger investments in technology, especially analytics. To better understand how the industry will adapt in 2019, we’ve written this article for you.

Since the initial survey conducted in 2011, plans for marketing and advertising spending has gradually increased and will continue to do so in 2017.

The survey reported that marketing professionals will continue to become more forceful involving spending habits – 67% of marketers surveyed said that budgets will increase from small to substantial amounts depending on the needs of the agencies.

spending on marketing agency

Although expanding budgets for clients may be an advantage for agencies there is a growing gap of expectations between market spending plans and what agencies will end up spending in 2017. 

Only 48% of agencies who predicted that their spending was going to increase little to significantly in 2017 – is one of the biggest gaps that agencies and clients had since 2011.

Less investment in Business Operations (People, marketing, and sales).

89% of agencies intend to invest moderately or heavily in business operations for 2020 but have declined since 2017 where 96% of agencies reported investing more internally at their employees and marketing and sales resources.

You have to keep up with the marketing industry to be successful. Google changed it’s search algorithm 3,000 times. How did that impact your search traffic?

P&G and K-C have shifted their usage of agencies that work with them by keeping them on for project-base work or limiting the number of agencies they use.

The shift of marketing agencies who are not investing as much into their resource could be due to the change of marketing and ads expenses going toward project-based work and in-house work.


A Rise of Investment toward Marketing Technologies.

There has been a push for investment in marketing technology. Marketers are continuously looking for ways to leverage automation and analytics to make more data-driven decisions, a place where agencies would benefit to fall into.

Last year there were 8,000 technology options on the landscape. With the latest MARTECH analysis just hitting the web, there have been over 1,000 additions! Clearly, the market is exploding with new options at every corner, and it can often become intimidating for new users.

Today the number is reaching 10,000.

Only 15% of enterprises are using AI as of today, but 31% are expected to add it over the next year. Click To Tweet

Committed to investing in marketing technology, professionals are adjusting their budgets to move their expenses toward new tools and resources for 20202 and beyond.

44% of marketers reported to RSW/US that they will be spending more money into technology, and 74% reported they intended on investing more in technology within the next three years.

An Increase of Project-based Focused Work Continues to rising.

The shift toward project-based work continues to rise with 35% agencies sharing that out of their current work 60% is dedicated to projects – this being a spike from the previous year with 20% agencies sharing only 60% of their work is project-based.

Agencies can learn from this in regards to dealing with project pricing for clients and how they go about evaluating their future work processes.

By doing so, agencies will be able to see expanded opportunities with the client after the completion of an initial project. However, if priced poorly, without this evolving relationship in mind, there is a potential to lose contracts.

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The Shift of Clients Moving Marketing Services In-House.

When asked their prediction of clients moving their work and services in-house, 80% of those surveyed believed they would see a tactical change in 2018.  The RSW/US report shared a majority of the work that will be switching to in-house are smaller projects, while larger and valued projects will be given to agencies.

However, this trend has flipped in 2020. There is a huge shortage of good marketing talent today.

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Marketers should keep their eye on the ball and stay focused on ROI. The key to this is ensuring that both sides (agency and marketer) are agreed to measurable KPIs. “Grow brand awareness and trial,” is NOT a measurable KPI. Some examples of measurable KPIs are:

  • Drive new B2B leads by X% in six months.
  • Drive digital traffic from XX% to YY% in 2017.
  • Increase the lead-to-sales conversion rate by X%.
  • Drive trial of new product at ABC retailer with X% weekly velocity goal.

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When agency and marketing partners agree to measurable KPIs before a project begins, the agency can easily do a postmortem on a program and calculate ROI by comparing spend to results.

Continuing competing for new business and keeping current businesses, agencies should focus on what makes them different. To steal an old Rosser Reeves term, what is your agency’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

What truly sets you apart from other agencies? The key: once you know your USP, make sure it shows in everything you do.

ROI has become a prominent role within agencies. Is your marketing partner holding you accountable for ROI? If not, bring the ROI to them. Show them how much they invested in your last program and what the ROI was.

By doing so it allows more transparent conversation and a stronger partnership where both sides are focused on the same goal. Most importantly, it will help your clients with their goal of moving more leads or consumers down the sales and marketing funnel.

Change is Good, Embrace it.

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Finally, as one of my early mentors in the business always said, “put points on the board. Every day. Always.” What she meant by this was that agencies should bring little extras to their client partners whenever possible.

Quick POVs, competitive alerts, new ideas for B2B content or photos of displays of their product in a store in a market not local to them are always helpful to marketing clients.

In my experience, it’s those points that keep you in good standing, even when you have a presentation that doesn’t quite hit the mark. Your clients will remember the little things too, not just the big home runs.

Marketing agencies are changing and so has Matrix Marketing Group. Find out how we’ve grown our own business model to provide our clients with results-driven visibility. Do you know which metrics your CEO cares about? Download our free eBook to learn more.

We’re listening.

Have something to say about marketing agency experience? Share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Are you not getting the results you had hoped for with your current marketing agency? Let the experts at this marketing agency in Denver help you generate more web traffic, convert more leads, and close more sales. Our team knows just what it takes to build and maintain a proven marketing strategy that drives high-quality leads. For more information, check out our marketing services or contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs and our services.

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General FAQ’s

What is a marketing agency?

A marketing agency will help your business develop a marketing strategy, plan and manage marketing campaigns, or provide specific services, such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, websites, or market research. You can retain their services for a particular project or hire them on a retainer basis to assist you over a period of time.

How can a marketing agency help a small business?

marketing agency can help a small business outline a marketing strategy designed to reach your business goals, identify the right marketing tactics to achieve the results you want and put those plans into action, and measure and analyze the results with real-time data.

Why should I hire a marketing agency?

An experienced digital marketing agency can help you develop a digital marketing plan, execute the projects, and measure the ROI with real-time data. The marketing agency should lower your cost per customer acquisition and drive more leads and sales.

What Does A Marketing Agency Do?

A Marketing Agency offers services like:
– Branding and Design.
– SEO Marketing.
– Advertising Planning.
– Product launch plans.
– Social Media Marketing.
– Marketing technology.
– Analytics and reports.
– Web Development.

How much does a marketing agency charge per hour?

The average blended rate for a full-service marketing agency in today’s market is $175 an hour to $225 an hour in most markets. In larger markets, it runs closer to $300 an hour. The other approach is to use a rate card that creates a specific hourly rate for each employee or position in the marketing agency.


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