Clear historical trends indicate a movement to consolidate the number of agencies a marketer uses (on a regular basis), which is very different than it has been in the past.

Pre-2017, marketers were on more of a path of expansion of their agency rosters than they are today.

Today we see a marketing community interested in simplifying, consolidating, and integrating efforts.

We just completed a search for a Consumer Packaged Goods company that carried 5-6 agencies and found it too difficult to manage.

Managing all these agencies that were vying for the “pole position”, made for a very bumpy ride for the marketer.

This company had to make sure all the agencies played nice together, as well as keep half an eye on the integrity of their brand and the efficiency of all the agencies in supporting the business.

Having a smaller handful of firms makes this exercise simpler.

Since 2017, the number of marketers using 2 or fewer agencies has increased from 54% to 70%.

With marketers consolidating rosters, this means agencies must do two things.

1) Be more aggressive in opening doors for their agency.  With marketer ranks thinning and fewer long-term engagement opportunities available, networking and referral opportunities won’t be as plentiful.

2) Constantly bring value to their current clients.

I tell our agency clients and clients that get involved in searches that we run that “they need to treat every day like it’s the first day of the relationship”.

It was Leo Burnett’s message when he left his shop in 1967 and it should be your agency’s (and every agency’s) mantra today.