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Just about every organisation, from the board down, is now talking about the importance of customer experience, breaking down silos and aligning data across the company.
In essence this is to keep up with rising consumer expectations – consumers expect to be treated as individuals, and remembered, before engaging with brands.
Last week we published our Top 100 Digital Agencies Report, detailing the who's who of those in the digital marketing industry.
While many of the names are similar, the emergence of new players and the shifting of rankings indicates that the market is still undergoing continuous change.
There is also some discussion about the changing nature of the agency model.
To explore some of these issues, we asked Sitecore’s marketing director Shawn Cabral for his opinion on the opportunities and challenges for agencies in the coming year. His answers are below...
2014's Top 100 Digital Agencies report has revealed some changes in the agency landscape.
I've been looking at changes to the agency model. In part one I looked at PepsiCo's Galaxy model, the trend for marketers and agencies influencing the wider business, and how clients are increasingly embedding agencies or in-housing skills.
In this final part, it's time to discuss the demand for speed and agility, data's influence and changing pricing models.
Michael Nutley’s report for 2013’s Top 100 Digital Agencies began with the assertion that “now, more than ever, the only generalisation that you can make about the way marketers and agencies are working together is that there are no generalisations to be made”.
I’d go further in 2014 (see the latest Top 100 agencies report) and say that in many areas of marketing, client methodology is as varied as it has ever been, media volume is higher than ever and technology is eliciting tension in traditional agency models.
At the same time, customer expectation is soaring and transparency, or at least value, is increasingly the elephant in the room.
The aim for agencies is, of course, to provide value, but the continued digital transformation of clients is also making it harder for the agency to provide the right support.
Maturing marketing channels are increasingly integrated, dictating a converged media strategy. This is often better served by in-house expertise or by the embedding of specialist agencies. Project work, too, is on the increase.
“Change is constant” is one favoured aphorism of the marketing analyst. For agencies, if anything, the rate of change is constant, too.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve started to see some significant shifts in the agency model and client-agency relationship. Having been involved in working with and running a number of agencies since 2003, I thought I’d share the direction I see things heading.
In some way this is a series of mini-posts, so you might want to grab a cup of tea first! But it should go to show the challenges agencies face in order to keep evolving and stay on top of their game.
More than a third of companies (39%) plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year at the expense of other channels, according to the new Econsultancy and SoDA Digital Marketing Outlook Report 2013.
A further 16% of respondents said that they would be increasing digital budgets alongside overall marketing spend, while just 11% said they planned to decrease the amount allocated to digital marketing.
Overall it shows that brands are confident of the value of digital marketing and are backing that up with increased investment.
The SoDA Report 2013 includes a survey of 814 marketers, of which more than 84% were key decision makers and influencers, including CMOs, VPs, and directors.