Where do

agencies fit?

Depends where

you are…

Around the world, marketers look to their agency to provide a challenging creative perspective. But how this works in practice varies as you cross the Atlantic.

Question 01

What, if anything, is/are the biggest barrier(s) to creativity in your team?

Question 02

What value, if any, do you see in bringing in external creative agencies?

Question 03

In 2022, how, if at all, do you plan to change how you manage your creative services?

Question 04

How far do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Our creative agencies challenge us creatively”? (answers for net agree)

Question 05

In this current financial year, has your budget…

Expert Perspective:

Has the emphasis on creativity changed the skills mix?

Ashley Stepien

VP Marketing, Ramp

In other marketing functions, you want to find someone who’s got the skill set; objectively, they can do all the things you need. Do you know how to build demand gen? Great. But when you’re building a brand, design aesthetic is also critical. You want to align aesthetically, and that’s a harder thing to nail down. That makes hiring a little more obtuse.

It’s always nice to have an agency partner, but the ownership needs to reside in house. I feel like I’ve been the most functional and successful when I have a lot of designers, like an in-house agency. But even then, I’ve never been in a situation where we haven’t had to lean on agency partners in some capacity. Because in your own company, you can end up in an echo chamber.

“I’ve never been in a situation where we haven’t had to lean on agency partners in some capacity. In your own company, you can end up in an echo chamber.”

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Chapter 09: Key Findings

The vast majority of marketers know external agencies can stop their marketing from getting stale. In fact, 84% agree that their agency challenges them creatively.

This kind of creative collaboration is most common in the UK, where marketers are significantly more likely to prioritise innovation, inspiration, and an external perspective in an agency partner.

By comparison, marketers in the US tend to look to their agencies for workload and extra resource. That’s despite being more than twice as likely as their UK counterparts (25% v 10%) to cite a lack of strategic creative thinking as their biggest obstacle to marketing creativity.

But then, more American marketers reported a challenging creative relationship with their agency (90% v 78% in the UK), so perhaps they see inspiration as a given.

Interestingly, while 56% of respondents overall say they’re likely to bring more creative development in house this year, 49% are also planning to outsource more. It’s a good job that more than half of B2B tech marketers have seen budgets increase for 2022.

84% agree that their agencies challenge them creatively.

52% of marketers have seen budgets increase year on year.

49% plan to outsource more creative services.