CMOs move to independent agencies amid transparency fears

Over half of CMOs say they will be choosing independent agencies to service their digital marketing needs due to worries around transparency, according to a report.

The survey of 150 CMOs, conducted by QueryClick, shows that almost all brands are planning to change their digital marketing agency in the coming year, with a signficant number planning to move away from large network agencies to appoint independent firms. Only 3% of CMOs said they would manage their digital marketing needs in-house.

The survey suggests the drive to move agencies is due to concerns around transparency, with 86% of CMOs saying they are concerned their current media agency is failing to deliver transparent results.

Lack of meaningful insights

Respondents also said their brand failed to use online conversion data as an effective tool to translate the customer journey into meaningful insights for their digital marketing strategy. Almost half (48%) said this was because they lacked consultative expert knowledge from third-party suppliers, while 47% cited a lack of internal knowledge to execute this effectively. Some 21% attributed this failing to their agency, saying it does not have the ability to use customer conversion data as a key metric when proposing digital marketing strategies and campaigns.

Chris Liversidge, founder and CEO of QueryClick, said: “We are facing an industry step-change. Brands are failing to get transparent results from their network agencies, whereas their independent counterparts offer a more personal and agile service. Independents can also adapt quicker to changing industry or technological trends, and their neutrality means the strategic recommendations they put forward or the technology they use centres around the clients’ best interests."

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