Technology. Transformation. Both are forces in Agency New Business.


Respondents to the RSW/US 2016 Agency New Business Survey expressed that it is somewhat harder in 2016 to obtain new business than last year.

The combined percentage of agencies responding that obtaining new business is either “a lot harder” or “harder” increased to 43% in the 2016 survey, compared to 35% collectively in our 2014 Agency New Business Survey.slide1When asked why it is harder to obtain new business, the top response was “harder to break through” with 63% of agencies expressing this.

In comparison, however, 71% of agencies identified this response in our 2014 survey.  Most other reasons with the exception of one were basically flat between the 2014 and 2016 surveys.

The exception is technology. 

Nine percent (9%) of respondents indicated the impact of technology on their agency offerings is making it more difficult to obtain new business. Technology was not mentioned at all in our 2014 survey. :


Just one article addressing the forces of change in the industry ran earlier this year in Forbes:  The New Era Of Advertising: What Agencies And Clients Must Do Differently To Succeed, by Kimberly Whitler, former CMO of Davids Bridal, and current Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

The article describes a new model and structure for agencies.   In addition to the impact of data on everything from strategy to creative to execution, it also describes how “co-creation” has become a meaningful dynamic among brand stakeholders and how agency organizational architecture is shifting to more creative “communities”.

And, all of this clearly has impact about how agencies position themselves and articulate that positioning within their new business development strategy.

It’s becoming trite to say “the industry is rapidly evolving”.  I hope everyone recognizes that.  If you haven’t  already, prepare for an environment of consistent change.

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.