Best Practice

The Progression of Agency Value: Developing a Model for Agency Maturity in a Digital World

By Neil Perkin, Econsultancy,


The Progression of Agency Value: Developing a Model for Agency Maturity in a Digital World report, published in association with Adobe, aims to identify the key challenges faced by agencies in a fast-changing marketplace. The study looks at how they are responding through their own use of technology and the required adaptations of skillsets, processes and behaviours. The 59-page report also provides a broad-based model for agency maturity incorporating the essential component areas arising from the research (data, technology, skills and culture).

About this report

This best practice guide, written by renowned blogger, writer and consultant Neil Perkin, involved two main research phases:

  • Phase 1: This first phase involved a series of in-depth interviews with a broad range of senior agency contacts across different agency types. A total of 21 in-depth interviews were conducted.
  • Phase 2: Research into existing thinking, issues, examples and models relevant to a comprehensive consideration of the evolution of agencies and their use of technology. 

Table of contents

  1. Foreword  
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Introduction
    1. Aims and methodology of the research
    2. Scope of the research
  4. Challenges
    1. Rate of change
    2. What is the role of the agency?
    3. Convergence, commoditisation, and proliferation
      1. Commoditisation of services
      2. Divergence / convergence of services
      3. Proliferation of platforms / devices / channels
    4. The challenge of technology
      1. Understanding the role of technology
      2. Implications on structures, resourcing, skills and culture
      3. Budgets and investment
      4. Complexity
    5. Big data
      1. Joining up data
      2. Automation and attributing value
    6. The shift to platforms
    7. Speed of adoption / transition
  5. The Progression of Agency Value
    1. The progression of economic value
    2. The progression of agency value
    3. Data
      1. A model for maturity in data
      2. The value in data
      3. The DIKW model
    4. Technology
      1. A model for maturity in technology
      2. The role of technology
      3. The development of technical capability
      4. The shift to platforms
      5. The move to the cloud
    5. Skills
      1. A model for maturity in skills
      2. The importance of technology skillsets
      3. The rise of the marketing technologist
      4. The tech talent time bomb
    6. Culture
      1. A model for maturity in culture
      2. Developing a digital culture
      3. Changing behaviour through doing
      4. The shift to platforms
      5. Fluid structures
      6. Two-pizza teams
      7. Approach to innovation
      8. A model for agency maturity
  6. The Opportunity for Agencies
    1. A new relationship with clients
    2. New technologies
    3. New partnerships and processes
    4. The role of creativity
    5. The “maths and the magic”
    6. The 70:20:10 model
    7. Differentiation in a digital world
  7. Further Reading

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