Research is what research is. You take what you get and you can decide to draw conclusions based on what you see or not draw any conclusions at all. As we have discussed here at Marketing Pilgrim many times in the past, research as PR and advertising has really tainted our ability to get reliable information nowadays. As a result, we go with what we have and then let our gut and experience tell us whether what we see is real v. crafted for a branding purpose.
Having said that I find any data comparing how agencies look at the digital world vs. how marketers look at it as pretty fascinating. It is often the best indicator of what agencies are trying to sell oftentimes despite what marketers say they need or desire.
A study from the outsourced agency business development firm, RSW/US, (via eMarketer) gives some insight into this area by running a comparison to findings from 2009 to today. Take it as you would like.
The most obvious change is marketer use of online advertising. Does this switch show that more and more marketers are doing this on their own? Not sure from this chart but one would think that in the economy of the past three years marketers would want to figure more of this out on their own to keep agency fees to a minimum.
Meanwhile it looks like agencies are talking more about strategic direction v service delivery. That is an interesting shift as well. Having worked on both sides of this equation at different points in time I can sympathize. Scope creep in actual digital service delivery is a disheartening reality of the digital marketing services industry. As a result, many on the agency side will be more desirous of the less ‘deliverably definable’ (yes, I totally made that one up so just roll with it) area of strategic counsel. It’s that magical place where an agency can tell a client exactly what they should be doing but then leaves the delivery to the client. It’s much cleaner but as a model it is hard since ongoing needs for strategy and direction are not like monthly deliverables for search, display, content and more.
How do you see the marketer v agency world? is it adversarial or is it more harmonious? What is required of both sides to make the best of what can sometimes be a difficult situation?