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Marketer-agency relationships are lasting longer than before

The 4th edition of Scopen Agency Scope UK 2021/22 has been released; a research study that highlights key trends in the UK's communication, marketing, procurement and advertising industry, and provides in depth positioning and competitive information to both creative and media agencies. This study takes place biennially in ten other markets around the world (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain), which enables the inclusion of global benchmarks in some key aspects.

This UK edition was developed by Scopen in partnership with Warc and with participation of ISBA members.

The universe of analysis comprises the highest-level decision-makers in marketing, communications, advertising, and procurement, from the largest and most important companies in the UK. Professionals interviewed in each company had to be involved in and interact in the decision-making process for selecting and approving their agencies’ work on an ongoing basis. Over 300 client-agency relationships and 141 marketing professionals were analysed.

Each year, as a result of the studies taking place in the various markets, Scopen gathers more than 3,000 opinions globally from interviews with CMOs.

Longer relationships with agencies

The average duration of marketer/creative agency relationships in the UK is 4.9 years (above the global average, 4.4 years) and it has increased from last edition (in 2018 it was 4.4 years). A continuous relationship over time (on a yearly basis) is the most common marketer/creative agency relationship model declared by 68.6% of the sample (61.0% in 2018).

Marketer-agency relationships are lasting longer than before
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Most marketers remunerate their current agencies with a Fee/Retainer (57.6%) and a 65.5% of interviewees remunerate them based on Project-based contracts (65.4%), where the average duration is 5.7 months.

Metrics and results are a key challenge for companies

When marketing professionals talk about the challenges that their companies will face in the near future, the most mentioned response is related with Proving ROI/Effectiveness/Results/Metrics (29.1%), followed by a better understanding and engagement with the Consumer -knowledge, consumer journey, touchpoints- (27.4%) and being able to better adapt to lower client budgets (20.7%).

About the challenges that they think creative agencies need to face in the coming years, the two most mentioned are being more innovative and able to deliver bigger creative ideas (29.0%) and understanding different communication platforms and channels (20.2%).

Outstanding companies and campaigns

Regarding the companies most respected for their marketing skills and expertise, UK professionals mentioned John Lewis, Nike, Apple, McDonald’s, and Unilever in the first five positions.

Among the most admired campaigns the UK places John Lewis again in the first place, followed by Tesco and Nike and, for the first time in years, Coca-Cola is not in the Top 10 list.

Covid-19 crisis has helped to accelerate processes

Covid-19 crisis has accelerated processes, and the most relevant change is marketers’ commitment to innovation and digital transformation.
When marketers were asked about how this crisis affected their communication both internally and with agencies, they mentioned the most less face to face meetings (more work from home and video calls), changes in brands messages (emotional content, social values) and changes in media and channels.

César Vacchiano, president and CEO of Scopen highlights how Creativity and Strategic Planning are even more important than in the past, when defining the ‘ideal’ agency, when choosing agencies and even for changing agencies.

Johanna McDowell, UK MD and Partner for Scopen mentions how the pandemic has decreased the new business activity and the decline in agency meetings with prospects because of Covid-19.
Read more: Scopen, Scopen Agency

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