New Research: Marketers should rethink agency relationships

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Changing brand and agency roles are negatively impacting the customer experience and marketing’s ability to demonstrate tangible business results, according to a new study that highlights a need for marketers and agencies to transform roles and responsibilities to improve collaboration and business results.

Forbes Insights, in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud, conducted the global study of brand and agency executives. The study details challenges in the areas of …

  • Brand and agency collaboration
  • Delivering a consistent customer experience
  • Personalising content
  • Maximising data
  • Utilising marketing technology

“As the nature of marketing continues to change, closer collaboration between brands and agencies is becoming more important than ever,” said Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer and head of the CMO practice at New York-based global researcher Forbes Media.

“Progressive marketing leaders within brands across the world have identified this change and are embracing new and closer working relationships,” he said. “At the heart of these efforts is a drive to effectively gather and mine rich sources of customer data.

These challenges come against the backdrop of the most fundamental need of all: increasing sales and attracting new customers, goals that more than 80% of respondents ranked at the top of the list of strategic goals for marketing programs in the year ahead. Enhancing customer loyalty (79 percent) and expanding brand awareness (78 percent) were also identified as key strategic goals for the next 12 months.

To reach these goals and address the challenges presented by evolving brand and agency roles, 60 percent of respondents stated that closer brand and agency collaboration would become even more important in the coming year. When asked what areas will have the greatest impact on more effective collaboration between brand and agency peers, respondents identified being able to capitalise on customer data/analytics as the top priority.

“As marketers we have access to more customer data and marketing technology than at any point in history, but as this study shows, fully capitalising on that data and the promise of technology is still a challenge for many brands and agencies,” said Andrea Ward, vice president of marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud.

“To unlock this potential, brands and agencies need to rethink existing roles, responsibilities and processes in order to successfully mine all of today’s rich data sources, capitalise on the latest marketing technologies, enhance professional and personal skills, and balance local and global imperatives.”

About this research
The data in this report is derived from a global survey of 255 executives across a range of industries and functions, conducted by Forbes Insights in the fourth quarter of 2015. Seventy-five percent of respondents were involved in providing internal brand support for their companies; 12 percent were from agencies; 13 percent were from technology vendors that support marketing programs. Sixty-five percent had C-level titles; the rest were VP/Director or above. Forty-nine percent of respondents were based in North America; 24 percent in Europe; 18 percent in Asia-Pacific; and 9 percent in Latin America.

About Forbes Insights
Forbes Insights is the strategic research and thought leadership practice of Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and, whose combined media properties reach nearly 75 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. Taking advantage of a proprietary database of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a host of topics of interest to C-level executives, senior marketing professionals, small business owners and those who aspire to positions of leadership, as well as providing deep insights into issues and trends surrounding wealth creation and wealth management.

About Oracle Marketing Cloud
Modern Marketers choose Oracle Marketing Cloud’s digital marketing solutions to create engagement, orchestrate experiences, connect data, and optimise interactions that attract and retain ideal customers. These solutions connect cross-channel, content, and social marketing with data management and activation on a proven system that marketers love and IT trusts. Visit

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