Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Global trends indicate a slight increase in the number and duration of the relationships that marketers have with their creative agencies, according to the Scopen Agency Scope SA 2017/2018 results.

Scopen’s research shows that SA marketers work, on average, with 1.92 different advertising agencies and 1.12 media agencies. The average duration of these relationships is 4.26 years, which is on par with the global average.

Large businesses tend to have longer relationships with their agencies, most likely because the complexity of their businesses and the size of their budgets prevent them from changing agencies more often.

Other global trends suggest that marketers depend on their agencies to be their marketing departments and deliver on their needs.  At the same time, marketers are looking for a simplified approach because the average chief marketing officer is responsible for a lot more than just marketing in his or her business.

The big take-out

Global trends indicate that marketers are engaging with more than one agency to deliver on various needs, and that there is a slight increase in the duration of their relationships. SA is on par with global trends in this regard.

Internationally there has been an increase in the number of agencies being appointed on a project-to-project basis rather than as agencies of record, says Johanna McDowell, partner at Scopen Africa and CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company. “Clients don’t want to move an account in its entirety straight away and would rather first try out [a new] agency on a project basis,” she says. “In addition, there are areas of specialisation available today that were not available – or as necessary – three or four years ago.”

The UK ranks the highest when it comes to the number of agencies per marketer (10). “This is because the market there is large and complex, with big budgets, and marketers often work across Europe, requiring more specialist agency services,” says McDowell.

She speculates that marketers in SA will increasingly prefer to have all services under one fully integrated roof. However, while they may prefer the integrated model, they are also starting to recognise that certain agencies have distinct specialisations that are necessary for certain projects, using them either on an ad hoc or on a continuous basis.