According to a recent Sapient study, CMO’s are beginning to lose faith in traditional advertising agencies:

Just over half (52%) of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) believe that traditional, large advertising agencies are ill-suited to meet online marketing needs, according to a study of senior marketing executives conducted by Evalueserve and released today by Sapient. Similarly, 49% of survey respondents believe that traditional advertising firms have difficulty thinking beyond traditional print and TV media models, which no longer are effective ways of engaging consumers who now get their information and influence one another primarily through digital channels.

This isn’t really a surprise as many agencies struggle to conform and adapt to rapidly changing consumer habits. Sadly, many of the mid-level managers and directors at these traditional shops are the main hindrance to natural evolution and many lack the savvy and interactive experience to guide their clients into the 21st century. WPP’s Martin Sorrell knows this (he’s pretty savvy) and one might predict that there will be major organizational changes made to traditional advertising agencies. According to the CMO’s surveyed, the following characteristics will define the agencies of the future:

1. Quality of Creative Content
2. Innovation and Strategic Value
3. Price/Cost
4. Sophisticated Analytics and Measurement Systems
5. Proficiency in Emerging, Interactive or Digital Media
6. Traditional Print, Offline and Media Buying Services

Publicis Group bought Digitas last week for $1.6 Billion dollars – WPP paid the same price for Grey two years ago. Digitas is among the leading interactive marketing agencies while Grey is known for it’s old-school, very traditional advertising expertise. It will be very interesting to watch and compare the success and adaptation of these two acquisitions over the next five years.

On a lighter note, new technology will also provide advertisers with great opportunity for innovation, creativity and success. The 21st century ad agency will be nimble, savvy and ever-changing. What could be more exciting?

Related Links:

The End of The Big Advertising Agency

[tags] wpp, advertising, sapient, cmo’s, agencies, martin sorrell, marketing.fm, marketing blogs, interactive [/tags]