My favorite part of our annual survey reports are the addendums.

We get unvarnished, raw feedback from agencies and marketers that you don’t typically get to read or hear.

I highly recommend you take a look at the addendum in our 2016 New Year Outlook Survey Report.

It features unedited answers to a question we asked both agencies and marketers: identify the most troubling trends (about each other).

From our report:

An interesting thing about the responses is that to a significant degree, what marketers say is troubling and what agencies say is troubling is nearly in direct conflict with each other. For example, Marketers want agencies more deeply engaged with the challenges and opportunities facing their brands, companies and industries. At the same time, agencies say marketers are operating in ways that are limiting their ability to go there – wanting the best of both worlds.

This probably comes as little surprise, it’s not a new trend. You’re always going to have that client (or clients) who don’t see things your way. (Or worse.)

It’s important, though, from a new business and ongoing account management perspective, to understand and take a look at what marketers are saying/thinking about you.

While some of the comments will frustrate you, and probably should, many more offer valid, constructive criticism you need to read.

Or at the very least, will help you better understand the marketer mindset, however fair, unfair or spot on.

Unfiltered Marketer Responses You Should Read-Most Troubling Agency Trends

A few further examples below-again, these are unedited quotes from marketers, presented without comment, answering the question:

What is the MOST TROUBLING TREND you’re seeing among marketing agencies today?

-Sameness

-Focusing too much on millennials

-Championing “marketing” metrics (engagement, impressions, etc.) that don’t contribute to business goals.

-They all look at the new age people coming up not realizing the older generations are the heads of business making the most important decisions

-Skyrocketing costs that are difficult to justify in an era in which technology is ubiquitous and affordable. Will an agency charging $250k produce a substantially better 30 second T.V. spot than a 26 year-old freelancer charging $35k? My experience says “no.”

-Personally, I am good with the agencies I have. But, one trend I see is lack of ROI focus on emerging media vehicles (like social) and too much distraction over what’s new versustrying to prove what works.

-They all tend to say the same things.

-That the agency holding companies and their subsidiaries are not as nimble and autonomous as they need to be. Because of the importance of brands wanting to control and own their customer data (and the media execution outcomes ultimately), I’m a firm believer that the buying component that agencies generally drive today will not be that way in just a few years.

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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.