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  • ISBA report claims traditional marketing agency model ‘too slow’

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    Findings from a new report reveal that advertisers are seeking closer relationships with fewer suppliers, with 62% adopting a move towards on-site and in-house solutions.

    The research, carried out by the ISBA in association with on-site specialist Oliver and independent market research consultancy Future Thinking, found that just under half of the brands polled currently have or are considering adopting an on-site (45%) or in-house (44%) approach.

    This shift in operations is being driven for a need to have deeper sector knowledge, data confidentially and transparency, plus closer working collaborations, as content needs increase across all platforms.

    External agencies are being perceived as too slow by advertisers, with 68% of marketers expressing frustration with the time it takes external agencies to make decisions or turn around briefs, dropping to 8% for on-site and 20% for in-house agencies.

    43% of the marketers polled said procurement was either not very or not at all influential in the decision to hire agencies.

    Advantages identified for selecting on-site agencies were the desire for speed and agility (86%), improved cost efficiencies (68%), collaboration (64%) and operational control (54%) that comes from working together in the same building. Institutional knowledge (21%) and strategic capabilities (21%) were also identified as important.

    For in-house, those polled cited improved brand expertise (61%) collaboration (52%) operational control (55%) and creative expertise (33%) as the main advantages.

    54% of marketers use on-site agencies on a project-by-project basis.

    Debbie Morrison, director of consultancy and best practice at ISBA, said: “Agility is increasingly a big issue for clients, especially in relation to digital activities, so it is no surprise that we are seeing a rise in these types of activities being handled in-house and particularly with on-site agencies. Adapting to the new demands that marketers have should be a key priority for agencies as they encounter an increasingly competitive market.”

    The study polled IBSA members over a two-month period between December 2016 and February 2017. 85 senior ISBA members took part in the survey. In terms of UK advertising expenditure, half of the companies that responded spend more than £30million annually and over a third of respondents spend more than £50million. The report follows a series of ANA studies in the United States, where 58% of advertisers were shifting towards in-house or on-site in 2013 (according to evidence from the ANA).


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    Toby Cruse

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