How Advertising Agency Models are Adapting to Today’s Marketing Environment

We hope that you will find the following article to be helpful.  If, after reading, you would like to explore our thought leadership on a deeper level, please contact Kerry Kielb at How Advertising Agency Models are Adapting to Today’s Marketing Environment It’s finally here – this is the year when the average daily time spent with digital media will surpass TV viewing for the first time.  Welcome to the new normal, where CMOs are under ever increasing pressure to harness the data “explosion” and stay culturally relevant as a “real time” brand.   Not surprisingly, the agency world is also evolving to better suit the new era it is operating in.  New services are emerging daily and the landscape is constantly shifting as new players come on the scene.   This provides unsettling competition for both “traditional” and “digital” agencies (two terms whose days are surely numbered) and new complications for marketers looking for efficiency AND integration. It seems like everyone wants to get into the advertising game.  Now that technology is such a core offering, traditionally IT focused consulting firms are certainly showing an interest in the space.  Mostly through acquisition, they are broadening their scope to include creative and strategic planning, thereby providing a more full service offering to marketers.   Both Deloitte and Accenture purchased digital marketing firms in 2013 and IBM has been involved in this area since the late ‘90s. Also, media properties are playing a bigger role with advertisers by boosting their targeting abilities and integrating analytics services into their offering.   Twitter’s recent purchase of Mopub and Bob Lord’s move from CEO of Digitas to lead Amazon’s advertising group is a strong indication that this trend will continue. Meanwhile, a whole new category of firms is developing and maturing to help Marketers make sense of the immense amount of data that is being generated by digital marketing efforts.  These “Customer Engagement Agencies” offer a unique and channel agnostic view of the customer and marketing program performance.  As a result, many are finding their way to the head of the table and acting as integrators between digital and traditional agency partners. As a result of these shifts, the battle for ownership of key elements of the SOW is hotter than ever between traditional, digital and media agencies.  Technologists, data analysts and content editors are now core members of the “creative team”.   Holding companies are shuffling the decks to be more competitive and hold onto as much of the fee revenues as they can.  While specialization continues to occur in the digital space in social and mobile channels, consolidation to build essential scale for new technology offerings is inevitable. Many marketers are reacting to these shifts by taking a fresh look at their current partnerships to ensure they still offer the best in class services for their brand’s unique digital needs.   This requires a thorough and informed approach that gets to the core of what marketing needs to deliver on critical business imperatives.  It also requires a look inward at how the internal team structure and agency compensation approach may be unintentionally inhibiting performance.  Only then, can you identify the right agency model – one that leverages the brand team’s strengths and addresses gaps in current resources.

About The Bedford Group

The Bedford Group is an Atlanta based Marketing Management Consulting firm that has been in operation since 1986. It has built its reputation on marketing organization support, agency search and relationship management and strategic marketing consulting.  Unlike traditional advertising consultants, The Bedford Group looks beyond traditional marketing disciplines to solve complex, enterprise-wide issues for efficient resource management and improving marketing ROI.

Jane Bedford
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