Marketers Plan To Consolidate Roster Agencies In 2020

Marketers plan to consolidate roster agencies in 2020

Per our latest 2020 New Year Outlook Report, Marketers plan to consolidate roster agencies in 2020.

35% report they plan to use fewer agencies, versus 26% in 2018 and 15% in 2017.

Marketers plan to consolidate roster agencies in 2020

You’re shaking your head aren’t you?

We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

Yes, yes we have, per Marketing Charts last year, Agencies’ New Business Worries Spike  and Marketing Profs way back in 2015, Brands Are Using Fewer Marketing Agencies.

Point being, we’re once again thrust back into the cyclical trend of consolidation.

As ever, it provides potential opportunities and potential grief for small to mid-sized agencies.

So what does it mean, from a new business standpoint?

A few key takeaways:

You may be the last agency standing

This type of consolidation is not something you would wish on another competitor (it affects people’s lives, right?) but the fact is, in a process of consolidation, your firm may very well be last man standing, or one of a few.

You obviously need to embrace this, and in order to hedge your bets that you are that firm, you need to-

Own your client’s brand

And I mean, consistently show them that you get them, that you have intimate knowledge of their brand.

I know many agencies, some clients of ours, some not, who truly know their client’s business/brand better than the client’s team.  Especially given the current state of turnover.

Granted, it’s not always easy to show that in an ongoing way, but any chance you get, show them that they can’t get rid of you-remind them, as diplomatically as you can.

Another tactic to keep your firm on the roster:

Treat them like they’re still a prospect.

Once the work kicks in, you get busy, and your client gets pulled in every direction possible.

They’re focused on you when they need to be and then they’re on to putting out the next fire.

It gets very easy for you and your team to become laser-focused on the work, which of course you must be, but you run the risk of being pegged as “our agency that does this thing” by your client.

Chances are, you can do more, or you may have other insights to share that could open a door to additional/new work.

This can be hard to do, I will grant you that.

But if you’re creating any type of content at all relevant to your client’s vertical, you have to find a way to get it front of them. Especially if it’s related to new trends or technology in that vertical.

They may not read it immediately (or ever?) but the simple act of getting your name in front of them in a different way will add value.

And chances are, if you’ve built even a small relationship, they will get to it.

It shows you walk the walk, and are staying on top of trends that will help your client look like a hero, or at least more knowledgeable.

Reality Bites

Yes, you should do all of the above, but ultimately, there are things out of your control, no matter what you do.

As well as you’ve done, you may be the firm that loses the business.

That truly sucks, and will be painful.

So the one thing you must do, as self-serving as it may be for me to say:

Make new business a priority in 2020

However you do it, it’s the best possible insurance you can have against this worst-case scenario.

Take baby steps, with smaller, manageable tasks to start: a combination of referrals, content and outbound prospecting.

Do what you can initially, find your footing, and increase in manageable intervals.

You can do it.

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I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.