The unexpected economic downturn in the last few months caused by the pandemic has led to dramatic belt-tightening and downsizing across industries, with budgets being slashed and spending scrutinized. And as marketing and communications professionals are all too aware, marketing budgets are historically one of the first to take a hit when funding issues arise.
While it’s hard to view this event as anything but negative, the current environment also presents the opportunity to sharpen your marketing and communications efforts. Tighter purse strings have spotlighted inefficiencies and waste. Consequently, CMOs are zeroing in on where their money goes, often in the form of agency spending.
What often gets ignored while determining what stays and what goes is the redundancy in skills across your agency ecosystem that can lead to the depletion of your resources. By reducing agency overlap and focusing more on partners that bring integrated capabilities to the table, organizations can achieve a number of unforeseen benefits, such as:
- Better brand consistency
- Greater business speed and agility
- Streamlined workflows
- Skill set efficiency
- More reliable results
- Improved cost controls
Many organizations outsource their PR, marketing and creative to agencies with the intention of tapping into specialized skill sets for each. A study on the state of marketing agencies in 2020 found that the average number of services offered by marketing agencies is five, ranging from advertising and branding to SEO and graphic design. If your organization currently uses separate agencies for marketing, PR and design, that could result in quite a bit of overlap—if each of these agencies is capable of similar offerings.
Let’s say an organization uses multiple agencies. Agency A is contracted for content creation and Agency B handles the organization's social media outreach, but both agencies are proficient in both areas and more than capable of handling both projects simultaneously. Not only does this mean double the amount of emails, Slack messages and Zoom calls with the designers responsible for the projects, but it also means you’re spending twice as much money and effort by duplicating account management items with both teams.
By working with a single, integrated partner, you can avoid redundancies that occur throughout your workflows. If this same scenario were to occur with one integrated agency, the creative team, project managers and clientele would maintain one consistent line of communication, ensuring that that everyone on your agency’s team has the same understanding of each task through a deeper comprehension of client needs, priorities, and goals.
When working with multiple agencies in similar disciplines, repetition in skillsets is inevitable. So why pay for multiple individuals with the same capabilities from separate agencies? Targeting your agency ecosystem to include a single team with abilities directly correlated to your needs will lighten the lift associated with your principal initiatives. It will also provide a single point of accountability to ensure that your business’s needs and expectations are met.
Choosing to work exclusively with a key agency partner can provide more capabilities that will better enable marketing leaders to tackle their business objectives. This results in greater agility, better positioning organizations to pivot and grow to meet evolving demands. Without the added weight of redundant agencies pulling invaluable resources down, CMO’s can deliver faster results on a tighter budget.
Wondering if agency consolidation is right for your organization? Take our assessment.