Agencies and Prospects May See Things Differently
Last week, our ResearchBrief quoted a study that suggested a disconnect between tech-sellers and tech-buyers in terms of information desired and the seller's presentation material and technique. Now, a newly released Business Intelligence Study from Pearlfinders finds sharp contrasts between what marketing agencies say and what marketing decision-makers are saying. Agree or not, the Study deserves some study.
A summary of the conclusions about prospecting noted in the report reveals these dichotomies:
A major trend, and one which will undoubtedly impact on all marketing communications agencies, says the report, is the increase in demand from clients for better customer insights.... "proximity to the mind of the customer is critical."
The Intelligent New Business Survey seeks to understand how marketing communications agencies should best engage with prospective clients for the purpose of winning new business. Major categories of the study include: (1) what prompts them to search for a new agency, (2) the most effective ways for agencies to engage with them, and (3) the reasons they choose one agency over another.
In summarizing the responses that would cause an organization to look for a new agency, the study finds that:
Compulsory or annual reviews seem to provide no statistical advantage one way or the other for this as a search trigger:
Nor do changes changes in ownership or the structure of an agency
But 73% of decision-makers say that in order to stay abreast of ‘new thinking or emerging marketing channel / disciplines' that they would, or might be, prompted to look for new agency support. 15% would always be prompted to look for new agency support if there were new disciplines emerging, whatever the circumstances.
When asked about the most effective way for agencies to engage with the prospect:
When queried about how prepared agencies were before they made approaches and how important this was to the respondents, the study found that:
In responding to why choose one agency over another, 58% of the respondents rated quality of customer insights as significant in the decision and all the respondents considered it the most important factor within the next two highest rankings. 75% thought level of client service in terms of speed and responding to ongoing needs, as ‘fairly significant'.
Cost control was rated very highly. Less important in the choice were the agency's size, geographic location, and its client list. A clear case for ROI, a flair for innovation and creative thinking scored highly.
The polling group rated choice criteria by order:
Bill Colbourne, CEO of Pearlfinders, said "Overall, the lesson learned from this survey is that clients want agencies to do their homework before pitching for their business." And the summary of the client's needs came from a respondent saying, "I'm looking for creativity, flexibility and value for my marketing dollars."
You can find additional information on this study, and Pearlfinders here.