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Just 2% of clients think their agency adds significant value, but 92% think they’re good at managing their agency

A global survey by the Financial Times and media agency Maxus has found that a tiny percentage of marketers think that their agencies add significant value.

A study of 200 c-suite executive and senior marketers, 17 per cent of whom are based in Asia, found that only two per cent believe that agencies are performing exceptionally, adding significant value.

Most – 75 per cent – rate their agency’s performance as ‘average’ or ‘quite good’.

By contrast, the vast majority of clients think they’re good at managing their agencies, with 92 per cent saying they do this successfully.

On this finding, the chief development officer of Maxus, Richard Stokes, commented that the finding was “a rallying call to the agency world that we must offer more to our clients.”

“For businesses to see the best return on the investment they make in their agency partnerships, they need to be honest about their strategic business challenges. This must come from right at the top of the client organisation,” he said.

The survey also showed an uncertainty about a future led by technology.

Just under nine out of 10 respondents said that the rate of change in marketing is set to increase, but a quarter of them feel that their organisation is not well equipped to cope. The proportion of respondents who feel this way is even less among APAC respondents.

Proliferation and fragmentation in the media landscape worries more than two thirds of c-suite marketers. But while more than a quarter of brand marketers said they were not affected by the decline of traditional media, 41 per cent said they see this decline as threat.

How consumer media is changing was regarded as a challenge by 40 per cent of marketers, and 39 per cent say that planning communications is getting harder to do.

A quarter say that data and analytics are a challenge when it comes to successfully executing marketing campaigns, and nearly a quarter say they feel daunted by the changing consumer landscape.

However, the greatest opportunities for businesses come in the form of new technology (71 per cent), changing consumer needs (62 per cent) and increased access to information (55 per cent), according to the study.

Stokes added: “Given the technology changes we’re seeing and the certainty that the pace of this change will only increase, agencies must be experts with a deep understanding of technology, the consumer and the client. They need to step up to this challenge and apply their knowledge in an informed and data-driven way to help drive growth.”

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