2017 has all the makings of a great year for advertising agencies of every stripe. The economy will continue to grow, and likely to grow in unprecedented ways. Marketers are looking for new ideas and new solutions to increasingly tough challenges. Technology will accelerate the growth and proliferation of platforms like mobile, VR, AI and video. Marketing budgets for higher profit services like digital will continue to grow, and the demand for traditional services will remain steady. Agencies who can demonstrate expertise and confidence in this new resurgence of advertising will prevail. Are you ready?
A recent survey of more than 500 top advertisers indicates a lot of activity in the coming months. Marketers are planning an unprecedented number of reviews in 2017 for Creative agencies, 66%, Search marketing agencies, 65%, Media agencies, 64%, and Digital agencies, 61%. There will be an enormous opportunity for agencies in 2017 if they can get the attention of those marketers who seek to change.
48 % of those surveyed agreed that “The industry is changing so fast now, it’s unclear how agencies will be viable in the future.” Marketers continue to seek better results, greater knowledge and expertise, and new approaches. The pressure to invest more wisely and more efficiently is increasing, and C-suite expectations have never been more intense. 2017 is the year that agencies must refresh what they offer and what they say to get the attention of these restless marketers.
Agencies that stand out and stand for things important to today’s marketers will get noticed. Read this post to understand why. Those that can articulate relevant value will get marketer's interest. Agencies that demonstrate knowledge and confidence about the things affecting the industry today and tomorrow will get invited and those that can satisfy a marketer’s need for greater knowledge, expertise, and new approaches will win. How else are potential new clients going to see your agency as a solution to the things they believe don’t exist at their current resources?
Change is good for small and mid-size agencies according to Marketing Week; Clients have also started moving away from agency giants, instead opting to bring work in-house or use a raft of smaller agencies, and 2017 will likely see more disruption to the relationship.
P&G has reduced the number of PR and advertising agencies it works with by around 50% over the past three years and brands such as Pret A Manger, Three and beauty brand owner Coty have moved some or all of their ad creation work in-house. There has also been a rise in innovation labs and online communities used to create and fuel ideas.
Markus Wulff, digital business innovation manager at Pernod Ricard vodka brand Absolut can see “both in-house agencies and smaller niche agencies taking a bigger piece of the creative work where the larger network agencies take a role of delivering the daily bread and butter work.” He says: “Brands now have more niche agencies on their roster to create more edgy and innovative work and it’s worked really well for us.”
Given this landscape how can your agency capitalize on the year ahead? It will be overwhelming if you try to be all things to all marketers. Instead, focus your BD efforts on your top three verticals. Showcase your work and your thought-leadership to get attention and credibility from the marketers who seek to change. Demonstrate why you are different, the vary things that your current clients love about you, in ways that will get their attention. And, be persistent but not annoying. Read this post to understand how marketers want to learn about you.
2017 is going to be a great year. More marketers are actively seeking your help. More marketers are turning away from the big global agencies and dividing their needs up among smaller shops. The economy will be up, and so will spending. If you want to grow, this is the year to double down on your new business efforts. Whether you do it yourself or seek help from outside resources, get started now. If you want to explore your options, I welcome your call. Now gather the troops and charge! In 2017, #LetsGrow!
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