The disconnect between agencies and clients

screenshot_53Clients are keenly aware that – from strategy to customer experience to reputation management –their success is intricately tied to their ability to create engaging and meaningful experiences across whatever platforms make the most sense for their brand.

Digital expertise on the client side has continued to grow for a number of reasons, including:

• A wave of new talent at both blue-chip and challenger brands around the globe
• The development of more elaborate client-side teams with direct responsibilities for digital
• The hiring of former digital agency professionals
• The embedding of agency partners within internal client teams to build stronger digital expertise
• Quite simply – due to the fact that digital is now infused in all aspects of marketing and the customer experience
Most marketers are working with only a handful of agencies, with over 85% of brands using four or fewer agencies on digital marketing initiatives.  Over half (52%) of client-side respondents in this year’s study indicated that they plan on having an agency roster that includes highly specialized digital shops (i.e., 29% highly specialized agencies + 23% mix of full-service and highly specialized agencies). The number of marketers working with zero agencies has risen, again indicating that more and more of the responsibility for digital marketing efforts is resting with brands.

Digital shops are reporting a significant jump in retainer-based work as well as client education and training services.

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One of the most significant changes in the past 12 months has been the increase in the percentage of agencies providing education and training services to clients who have developed internal teams to handle digital production and maintenance. That figure rose a whopping 25% in relative terms, from 28% of respondents in 2013 to 35% in 2014.

55% of marketers describe their organization as “sophisticated” or “very sophisticated” in digital marketing.  As client organizations assert their increasing digital marketing sophistication, they’re taking more digital projects in-house.

There are significant discrepancies in client and agency