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14 March 2019



AGENCY SCOPE is a study that was first launched in 1978 in Spain. In the past 2 years (2017/2018), it has been carried out in 11 markets in 5 continents. Each year at SCOPEN we gather and analyse more than 3,000 opinions taken from interviews with the most relevant executives working worldwide in Communication, Marketing and Advertising. Now, we will analyse the characteristics of the Ideal Integrated Agency.

We have asked this to a total of 817 Marketing Managers in 11 markets in which we carry out AGENCY SCOPE. This is a completely spontaneous question, and its objective is to detect which aspects are taken into account by the Marketing Managers when they work (or want to start working) with a Creative Agency.

It is interesting to analyse the results, not only in the different countries country, but also to observe the evolution of trends, as the result offers us clues as to how brands’ demands will evolve as they continue to work with their agencies.

Below you can see the aggregate data:




Trend #1: Knowledge (of the market, consumers and clients) is key in all markets where the study is carried out. In the past two years it has come to play a leading role. Today, it is even more important than creativity (innovative ideas), which tended to hold the top position in our analysis.

A good knowledge of the environment, being aware of all the changes that are taking place in our market, is key when anticipating and designing innovative and personalized communication strategies. All of this, taking into account not only the clues offered by the context, but also the consumer as the main part of all this knowledge.

Regarding knowledge, the importance of Strategic Planning is growing. Many Creative agencies (and Media agencies) have been strengthening and incorporating new people with the role of Planner within their companies, as the need to innovate and make brand image grow has been increasing.

It is no accident that the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is including the category ‘Strategic Planning’ in the 2019 edition. Accordingly, it is interesting to analyse the definition that the Festival itself gives for this new category and how, through Strategic Planning, brands can redefine/reinvent brands but also influence their consumers: ‘how strategic planning can redefine a brand, reinvent its business, and influence consumers or wider culture.

Trend #2: Creativity (and innovative ideas), is the element which all of a brand’s communication/advertising/marketing actions revolve around. However, the market defines creativity not only for its power to generate 'innovative ideas', but it is evolving into a bigger area, where concepts such as 'Digital transformation' and 'business transformation' are included.

In many interviews the Marketing managers mentioned that 'creativity is present throughout the process, not only when generating a good idea ...'.

In this context, the content becomes more important. The challenge for brands is to develop actions with relevant content (transmedia) for the consumer, and to use Creativity as an element of cohesion between the content itself and the brand’s values in order to generate engagement.

Trend #3: The Team of professionals. Today, it has become more important, and in many cases it is a distinguishing element when selecting a new agency. The demand for seniority is increasing and agencies must show their value against other competitors that are beginning to appear in the market and whose offer is closely linked to a specific team of professionals.

In some interviews, Marketing Managers commented that '... we are looking at other possible collaborators..., but we would like to give the opportunity to our current agency team, as long as they show me that they are appropriate for my communication project ...'.

Trend #4: Service (Customer Service, Proactivity/Initiative, Meeting Deadlines /Speed). For years, the Service had become a 'commodity' answer when defining the characteristics that the ‘ideal’ Creative agency should possess. In this sense, there were hardly any differences in the service offered by different agencies.

The re-emergence of agencies with a more 'boutique' profile, that are more adjusted to client budgets and have close and accessible teams, is creating a desire to work with smaller teams, which offer a more personalized service and better adjustment to budgets in these post-crisis times.

Trend #5: Business (Efficiency/Results/ROI/Data). These elements are increasingly demanded from agencies, not only on a day-to-day basis, but they can even be requested in a credentials presentation (new business; not a pitch). 'Close the circle' is the answer that best summarizes what many Marketing Managers argued to justify the need to demonstrate, with data, the profitability of projects (current or future), supported not only by measuring the results of their campaigns but also by interpreting this data and transforming all of this into the key aspects for their companies’ businesses.

Data as a more strategic element which lots of Marketing Professionals rely on to justify their investment in communication/marketing/advertising. But Data, also, as an opportunity for agencies to create alliances with other agencies that are experts in this area which will help to consolidate the marketer-advertiser relationship.



Published in NEWSLETTER #1 / 2019

Submitted by:
Óscar López
Research & Studies Director