Large Brands Plan to Move to Independent Media Agencies to Improve Transparency in 2018, New Survey Finds

  • 86% of CMOs are concerned that their current agency is failing to deliver transparent results
  • Almost all brands admit that they are planning to change their digital marketing agency in 2018/19
  • Over half of CMOs say they will be choosing independent agencies to service their digital marketing needs

The digital marketing challenger agency, QueryClick, has today released The CMO Performance Report 2018, revealing the concerns of today’s CMOs and the changing relationship between brands and media agencies.

The report, which includes a survey of over 150 Chief Marketing Officers for UK consumer brands with a revenue of over £150 million and an e-commerce offering, found that 95% of CMOs have plans to change their current digital marketing, advertising or media agency to seek out an independent alternative.

Over half (51%) of CMOs said they will appoint an independent agency to service their digital marketing requirements in a bid to improve transparency over their campaigns within the next 12 months, and 37% said they would do this within the next 13-24 months.

Interestingly, only 3% of CMOs surveyed said that they planned to manage all of their digital marketing in-house in 2018/19, highlighting the importance brands place on third party expertise.

Driving this change is a lack of transparency on offer from their current agency. 86% of CMOs said that they are concerned that their current media agency is failing to deliver transparent results.

Respondents also admitted that their brand is failing to use online conversion data as an effective tool to translate the customer journey into meaningful insights that will enhance their digital marketing strategy. They cited the following reasons for this;

  • Almost half (48%) said this was because they lacked consultative expert knowledge and expertise from third party suppliers
  • 47% of CMOs said this was due to a lack of internal knowledge and expertise to execute this effectively
  • 26% cited a lack of technology options in the market that offer what they need to do this
  • And 21% said their marketing agency does not have the ability to use customer conversion data as a key metric when proposing digital marketing strategies and campaigns.

Chris Liversidge, Founder and CEO of QueryClick, commented:
“Despite UK ad spend rising 3.5% year-on-year to £5.4bn, which has been driven by digital, the shares of the world’s largest advertising groups are down. Their revenues are being squeezed by more agile, independent players as brands re-think their marketing spend, and question where they are getting real value.

“We are facing an industry step-change. Brands are failing to get transparent results from their network agencies, whereas their independent counterparts offer a more personal and agile service. Independents can also adapt quicker to changing industry or technological trends, and their neutrality means the strategic recommendations they put forward or the technology they use centres around the clients’ best interests.

“Part of the problem is that all too often digital isn’t given the attention it warrants in the marketing performance reports brands receive from their agencies. To get bang for their buck and protect their digital footprint, brands must inspect their media contracts closely, question agency relationships and ROI on investments, and demand visibility of their digital performance.”

QueryClick is an independent agency that challenges group agency models, delivering high performance results for enterprise brands. Working with a client-base of the world’s most-well-known brands, it has managed over £1 billion of client revenues in 28 international markets after a decade of growth.

In 2017, QueryClick added £395 million in organic revenue for its clients, and optimised £16.7 million of spend, delivering an average ROI of 12.7:1 for generic Paid Search growth.

QueryClick partnered with Censuswide in March 2018 to survey 150 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) at major brands, each holding positions with brands that have a recorded revenue of over £150million a year and an e-commerce offering. The CMOs surveyed have the responsibility of managing their brand’s marketing budget and agency relationship.

About QueryClick:
A challenger consultancy operating in the digital marketing sector, QueryClick, was founded in 2008. From its growing offices in London and Edinburgh, QueryClick delivers best-in-class multi-channel data insights and strategic consultancy to support large UK brands maximise their SEO and PPC performance. The agency operates with a relentless focus on driving sustainable, collaborative success, disrupting the industry, with a vision of re-inventing the future of marketing.

In 2017 QueryClick;

  • Managed over £1billion of organic client revenue
  • Added at least 37% revenue year-on-year to our clients’ digital offering
  • Delivered £395million of organic revenue under its ownership
  • Recorded £16.7million of revenue under its PPC management, which delivered an average ROI of 12.72