This is according to Johanna McDowell, Scopen partner and CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS).
“Our research team is well on the way to achieving our target of 200 brands and 300 interviews by the end of the fieldwork for the Agency Scope biennial study, which delves deep into what marketers really think and will provide important analysis for industry leaders and senior personnel,” she says.
“The response has been very good, even while marketers are under more time pressure than ever - certainly more than they were two years ago. With just a month to go, we’re thankful that marketers have been willing to give their time to this pivotal industry research.”
Some of the early insights offer a compelling view of what the final results may show, McDowell notes, as interviews progress steadily toward presenting the final results in November 2023.
“Greater respect for Scopen and a far more positive response is apparent across the board this year,” she asserts, citing the example of a “hard to get” respondent participating because her colleagues told her what an intriguing and thought-provoking interview it was.
“This bodes well for the research overall, as the growth in diversity of respondents is of huge value to the whole industry,” McDowell says.
“Snippets include those we’ve seen on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which indicate that it is highly topical, but very polarising – people either fear it or are extremely excited by it.”
Also noted is the market’s focus on staying up to date with tech and digital evolution, the takeout being that some brands are very advanced while others are overwhelmed and struggling to keep up.
“Also, creative speed to market has been mentioned a lot; and in terms of digital platforms, marketers want quick creative concepts and are not prepared to endure traditional media lead times,” says McDowell.
“On budget issues, researchers are observing cuts, even while marketers are still expected to deliver targets. With less money and less marketing, it seems this is going to be an area of huge interest to the industry as a whole.”
Apart from researchers hour long and in-depth, face-to-face interviews with marketers, Scopen sent out an online survey to around 500 senior members of creative and media agencies early in August.
“This is designed to get their insights on what is happening in their industries. It provides vital information that will complement the Agency Scope study in terms of furnishing data from the other side of the coin,” McDowell says, adding that the online survey takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes; and the response has been robust, with agencies noting their appreciation of being included.
“Both marketers and agencies understand the importance of giving feedback to the knowledge base we are creating, and which will add immense value to the overall Agency Scope study. We’re anticipating lots of new data to analyse through September and October, and we’re looking forward to our full presentations from 30 October onwards.”
With so many profound and rapid changes between the last study and this, Agency Scope is excited to see how the changes and challenges are being experienced, and the solutions marketers are implementing to meet shifting dynamics.
“A full schedule of meetings is planned throughout November, where we will be presenting to agencies that have subscribed to their individual agency reports,” McDowell points out, noting that for those that aren’t yet subscribed, there’s a window of opportunity before the November sessions start.