In our latest New Year Outlook survey, we asked marketing agencies and marketers to tell us what troubles them most about each other.

This is the third year in a row we’ve asked this question and every year we seem to end up in the same spot: Agencies and Marketers feeling the same about what’s troubling them about their “partners”.

Side note: In case you’re interested, just wrote a similar post from the agency standpoint and have it posted on our sister company’s site (Marketer Comments).

Marketing agencies just sayin

So here is a sampling of some of the juicier “troubling trends” identified by your agency counterparts about marketers, in general:

“Growth in in-house staffing”

I told your agency counterparts that this is simply something they are going to have to get used to – and adjust for.  They can no longer look at opportunities the same way.  It’s now turning into more of an investment analysis.  Are you an attractive brand?  Is there the potential for more work?  Will this one project run the risk of pigeon holing me into only this type of work?  All questions agencies need to ask about you.

“In the quest for ‘big data’ and questions about what to do with it marketers are becoming paralyzed and forgetting the powerful of insightful and inspiring story telling”

Both sides need to give a bit on this one.  And both sides are a bit guilty of the quest for the next “shiny object”.  Marketing IS a business of investment returns, but it also a business of changing behaviors by emotionally connecting with consumers and making them feel they are one with your brand.

“Less listening to the market/customers/competitors”

This one is interesting and is somewhat troubling if it is true.  I fully realize that your worlds are becoming more and more complex.  And the time you have to take a step back and listen to constituents, competitors, the market is limited.  So more the reason to have an agency that can help do this for you.

agencies marketers say thank you

“Declining respect for agencies”
“Marketers value advertising less and less”

Agencies complain about not being valued.  And not being brought to the table and treated like a partner in the marketer’s business.  Here’s a chance to make that happen – and make it all a bit easier on you.  Agencies are ready to help (or they should be).  All you need is to give the ready word.

So, all this said…we fully understand it’s a two-way street.

My advice to agencies is to always lead the way to resolution.

The only thing you (the marketer) needs to do is give them a bit of rope to show you what they really can do.

If they can’t or don’t…might be time for a new game in town.