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Pitch remains the most favoured way of selecting an agency

The 4th edition of Scopen's Agency Scope UK 2021/22 has been released and 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.
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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.

Pitch remains the most frequently used method to select an agency in the UK


To create a long list of agencies, the most mentioned sources of information are the quality of the agency work/cases/credentials followed by experience/personal knowledge and friends or colleagues recommendations. When it comes to building a short list of creative agencies, the most mentioned aspects are creativity and innovation, agency's previous experience and expertise, and agency reputation/image/prestige.

Pitching is the most frequently used method to select an agency, used by 92.6% of marketing professionals in the UK. Also, popular are workshops (67.6%), whilst consultants (28.7%), by credentials (15.7%), direct appointment (6.5%) and trial assignment’ (0.9%) are used less frequently to appoint a new agency.

Johanna McDowell, Scopen Africa Partner, comments, “We saw the same trend in the South Africa study in 2019, and we are anticipating little change when we view the results of the Agency Scope South Africa 2021 study, currently in the field.”

Pitch remains the most favoured way of selecting an agency
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Involvement of procurement increases


66.7% of marketing professionals in the UK stated that their procurement department is involved in the negotiation processes. The involvement of procurement has increased in the last few years worldwide, and China shows the highest percentage (77.1%) among all countries where the study is conducted.

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