CMOs Demand Digital Expertise From Agencies

Sapient recently polled more than 200 CMOs and senior marketing professionals in the U.S. to gain insight into what they want from their marketing and advertising agencies over the next twelve months. The short answer is: social media.

In short, traditional marketing agencies are now at risk of losing their clients unless they step up to the plate of social media. As you’ve heard me say previously, the choice is yours. Keep up or fall back.

Here is the Top Ten CMO Wish List for Agencies:

1. Greater knowledge of the digital space. With more than a third of marketers surveyed revealing that they are not confident that their current agency is well-positioned to take their brand through the unchartered waters of online digital marketing and interactive advertising, its clear that agencies need to have a greater knowledge of the digital space in order to thrive. In fact, nearly half (45 percent) of the respondents have switched agencies (or plan to switch in the next 12 months) for one with greater digital knowledge or have hired an additional digital specialist to handle their interactive campaigns. Further, when it comes to an agencys area of expertise, 79% of respondents rated interactive/digital functions as important/very important.

2. More use of pull interactions. When trying to engage consumers with their brand, 90 percent of respondents agree that it is becoming increasingly important that their agency uses pull interactionssuch as social media and online communities rather than traditional push campaigns.

3. Leverage virtual communities. An overwhelming 94 percent of respondents expressed interest in leveraging virtual communities (public and private) to understand more about their target audience.

4. Agency executives using the technology they are recommending. Ninety-two percent of respondents said it was somewhat or very important that agency employees use the technologies that they are recommending. For example, it is important that agency executives regularly use Facebook, Flickr, wikis, blogs, etc. in their personal social media mix.

5. Chief Digital Officers make agencies more appealing. Forty-three percent of marketers surveyed said that agencies with chief digital officers are more appealing than those without.

6. Web 2.0 and social media savvy. Sixty three percent of marketers surveyed said that an agencys Web 2.0 and social media capabilities are important/very important when it comes to agency selection.

7. Agencies that understand consumer behavior. Seventy-six percent of respondents deemed this as an important/very important aspect of their agencys online digital marketing and interactive advertising area of expertise.

8. Demonstrate strategic thinking. Seventy-seven percent of marketers surveyed ranked strategy/brain trust capabilities at the top of their agency wish list.

9. Branding and creative capabilities. Sixty-seven percent of respondents ranked branding at the top of their agency wish list while seventy-six percent ranked creative capabilities as important/very important.

10. Ability to measure success. Its no surprise that marketers want an agency that can report on where campaigns succeeded, fell short and where they should be fine-tuned. Sixty-five percent ranked analytics at the top of their agency wish list.

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