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%.

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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