Clients are from Mars, agencies are from Venus
Study shows dissatisfied marketers ready to move on with review process
by Sean Callahan
A new survey released last month quantified what many people in the b-to-b marketing community have experienced firsthand: The agency-client relationship is in a bad way.
The survey was commissioned by Citigate, a New York-based marketing communications firm, and performed by GfK Custom Research. It queried 209 C-level executives, most of them at b-to-b companies, in February.
Only 11% of the respondents said they planned to retain their current advertising, public relations and marketing services agencies without a review.
At the same time, 47% of respondents said they definitely planned a review, and another 42% said they were likely to stage a review in the next three to six months.
"I would not have anticipated findings that are that ugly," said Tom Stein, president of Stein Rogan + Partners, a New York-based agency. "My feeling is, though, that the client-agency relationship is in a very difficult place."
The best face put on these numbers is that they indicate that b-to-b marketers, after three years of constricted budgets, are planning to spend again. "In some ways that’s kind of good news," said John Quartararo, Citigate’s managing director. "Most companies will not change an agency if there’s no business and everything is slowed down in terms of their marketing."
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