A new survey from Cincinnati-based search consultant RSW/US has found that a majority of ad agencies believe new business opportunities will increase in 2013 compared to 2012.
The survey, which polled 168 agency executives and more than 100 marketing professionals in September, found that nearly 62% of the agency respondents believe more new business opportunities will develop next year, in effect building on recent momentum.
Fewer agency respondents -- about 45% -- said they believed that opportunities to pick up new business this year increased over 2011. But that’s more than double the 21% who believe that such opportunities decreased, while about 34% said the prospects for new business remained about the same.
RSW attributes the growing confidence to the economy that despite general uncertainties “continues to move ever so slightly forward.”
Continuing media fragmentation is also contributing to new opportunities, per RSW. “There are more doors of opportunity to open within the four walls of a marketing prospect’s company today" than just a few years ago, the study concludes.
Digital and social are the two biggest drivers of new business opportunities, with 76.3% of agencies citing digital as the top opportunity, while 53% cited social. As those targets of opportunity grow, so has the complexity of assignments within those segments, RSW surmised. “Marketers need firms to help them smartly and strategically find their way into the digital and social space. Of equal importance, help them integrate these new platforms with the plethora of other media they are using to support their business.”
The survey also found that fewer agencies (40%) have hired new business directors recently compared to five years ago (48%). According to RSW, that decline is likely due to the weaker economy in the recent past and by the trend toward outsourcing the function.
On the marketer side, almost half (45%) said they felt it was very important that agencies come to an initial meeting with thoughts about their business or questions that show an interest in that business. But only about 12% of the marketers surveyed said agencies always come to the table prepared with such thoughts and questions.
The full study can downloaded from the RSW website: www.rswus.com.