Ad Agencies Are (Still) Not Result-Driven Enough: 65% of Marketers Lament

LONDON – 65% of Marketers around the world believe ad agencies are still not result-driven enough: they are still far from doing enough to push the all-media marketing campaigns they develop to deliver better results for their clients’ bottom line.

That’s the observation made by The Fournaise Marketing Group, one of the global leaders in all-media marketing effectiveness tracking, when it recently completed its 2010 Global Marketing Pulse Report.

The report compiled insights from close to 1,000 Marketers around the world on several aspects of their Marketing ROI: from the increased pressure for results they get from top management to the effectiveness of marketing strategies they implement, and their expectations of ad agencies.

Fournaise noticed this Marketers’ perception of agencies still not being result-driven enough is a global trend: it is around the 70%-mark in developed economies such as the US, Western Europe and Australia (where the fight for the customer wallet is tremendous), and has now exceeded the 50%-mark in developing regions such as North Asia, Southeast Asia and India, where the ever-increasing sophistication of customers makes each sale even more difficult.

The independent Marketing Tracking & Maximisation Specialist also found that Marketers around the world classify ad agencies into three groups: (1) the Result-Drivers who truly believe that the primary purpose of a campaign is to deliver the bottom line results of their clients, and do whatever they can for that (35%); (2) the Result-Pretenders who claim they believe in making campaigns that deliver results, but are internally not prepared to put in place the relevant systems and processes to do so (43%); and (3) the Dreamers who still live in old “Adland” (22%).

Fournaise further identified three of the major weaknesses Marketers believe the majority of non-result-driven ad agencies have:

1) Their customer insights expertise and knowledge is not deep enough (74%). They don’t know enough about and don’t spend enough time and money investing in better knowing their clients’ target audience. They still rely too much on gut-feeling and “hear-say”, and often end up developing strategies and campaigns that have little impact.

2) They are too award-driven and see campaigns as a way to boost their creative portfolio instead of boosting the P&L of their clients (71%). This in turn often leads them to be creatively inflexible.

3) Because they usually don’t have systematic tracking mechanisms in place to measure the effectiveness of the all-media campaigns deployed, they don’t know enough about what worked (and why) and what did not, and have difficulties fine-tuning their strategies and campaigns accordingly to boost their ROI (70%).

“We work with many ad agency networks around the world and it is clear to us that those who, on top of their standard creative services, have the triple combination of (1) customer insights, (2) creative flexibility and (3) systematic tracking mechanisms have a bigger chance of developing campaigns that deliver better results”, says Jerome Fontaine, CEO & Chief Tracker of Fournaise.

“The Brands’ board of directors and top executives want to boost shareholders’ value. And that starts with boosting their top line by acquiring more customers through better Marketing ROI. It is therefore no surprise to see more and more Marketers flock to these result-driven ad agencies” he added.