Delusions in the corner office

26 Feb

[by Todd] Account planners, help me out here. What does it mean when your client thinks it’s doing great delivering critical services, but the customers have a vastly different view? Technical explanations aside, I’d call it big trouble.

So it was with great fascination I read a recent report from Forrester called Help Wanted: 21st Century Agency, a rather brutal assessment of how advertising agencies are doing living up to their client’s expectations. Let’s start with this little nuke from the introduction.

Agencies believe that they play a critical role in marketing success, but
marketers see things differently. On aggregate, agencies score a dismal Net
Promoter rating of -21%.

Forrester
Innovation and technology are at the core of the dissatisfaction, according to the report. Agencies think they’re rocking the house with innovative thinking and executions. Clients think they suck.

Take a look at the chart. There’s a  40-point gap between what agency execs believe and their clients believe. Even more stunning, agency leaders thought they were doing a better job at delivering Internet advertising solutions than TV. Damn, that must be some high-grade stuff they’re smoking

In fact, marketers view advertising agencies as least competent among service
providers to deliver marketing technology. In the midst
of this technology-induced media shift, marketers realize that agencies:

  • Lack skills in emerging channels
  • Overstate their role in marketing success
  • Must be held more accountable for results

At the risk of sound self-promoting, the report highlights the rise of customer centric marketing. Maybe that’s because those of us "below the line" have been forced to justify our budgets from the beginning. I wonder if that arcane division of agency work will be erased swiftly when the gods of brand advertising are forced to labor among us mere mortals.

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