The relationship between brands and agencies involves working together to achieve business goals. These goals can encompass revamping a company website, social media pages, or even running advertising campaigns to get the best return of investment (ROI).
According to a study by Forrester Consulting, 42% of companies describe the relationship with their agencies to be on the exploration stage when it comes to the feasibility of bringing creative and digital media in-house. Closely following behind this is 37% of the respondents planning to receive new digital media solutions.
Meanwhile, at 35%, are companies that are already running digital advertising campaigns internally, but face scaling challenges due to limited resources. These results indicate that there exists variance when it comes to the interactions between brands and agencies.
In terms of what brands are looking for in agencies, the 33% of the respondents in a Q3 2018 study by SoDa indicated that improved design and creative services were on top of their priority list. Clients were also interested in different pricing models at 30% and more flexible working models at 25%. It should also be noted that there was also a call for stronger leadership at 21% and improved technological capabilities at 17%.
However, there is contention between clients and agencies, as what the former parties want from the latter may not always match up. According to the study, the top reason clients leave an agency is because of pricing and value issues. This accounted for 33% of those surveyed.
Meanwhile, new management on the clients’ side and overrun costs account for 19% and 16% respectively. The requirement for different capabilities rested at 14%, while understaffing and strategy disagreements were both at 13%.
Therefore, it is integral for brands to select an agency that fits them. This is to ensure the longevity of the B2B relationship, as well as contribute to the growth in revenue and brand reputation.
Before a brand selects an agency, it should identify what it would like to achieve and the way it could go about it. Looking into internal capabilities can be a step in the right direction as well. When these capabilities are identified, an agency can help fill in the gaps when it comes to expertise and talent.
Brand owners should also account for the costs of hiring an agency. This is to ensure that pricing models can be agreed upon. Depending on the agency, these pricing models can be fixed or more flexible. A budget should be created in order to ensure that a brand is receiving the ideal value that is offered by the chosen agency.
As for the strategic aspect of it, brand owners and company executives should look for an agency with their best interest in mind. One way to determine this is by effectively communicating with the agency in question. There should be communication channels in place to ensure a smooth workflow and B2B relationship. Ultimately, a brand should choose an agency that acts as a partner and works with businesses to achieve goals and take profits to the next level.
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