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The Evolution of Marketing Agencies and Consultancies

by Paul Roetzer  |  
December 8, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Key factors driving the marketing-services transformation
  • The role of tech-savvy and forward-thinking firms in today's evolving ecosystem
  • Services, pricing, staffing, and process considerations for success

The marketing agency ecosystem is rapidly evolving. Marketing agencies and consultants now have the ability to deliver greater value via a blend of traditional and digital services, spanning the core disciplines of search, mobile, social, content, websites, digital advertising, public relations, analytics, and email.

In fact, 80% of chief marketing officers think integrated services will increase in importance over the next five years, according to a study by The Horn Group and Kelton Research. However, in the same study, 60% of CMOs indicated that they are unable to find an integrated firm to meet those needs.

As a result, unparalleled opportunities are available for emerging agencies and consultants to transform, disrupt, and thrive within the developing marketing-services ecosystem via evolved and integrated strategies, hybrid skill sets, and the effective use of technology.

What's Driving the Marketing Agency Transformation?

Changes in consumer behavior and advances in technology are driving the need for tech-savvy, versatile, and forward-thinking agencies.

Today's consumers are tuning out traditional, interruption-based marketing methods, and choosing when and where to interact with brands. More often, that is happening via social networks, blogs, search engines, and mobile devices. In fact, Gartner research predicts that by 2015 "digital strategies, such as social and mobile marketing, will influence at least 80 percent of consumers' discretionary spending."

In addition, innovations in technology now allow for accurate and real-time reporting capabilities that can be directly correlated to sales. Gone are the days when firms could rely on arbitrary measurements, such as impressions, reach, and advertising equivalency. Savvy agencies will track and adjust campaigns based on click-through rates, inbound links, website traffic, leads, and other metrics that directly impact the bottom line.

Building a Tech-Savvy Firm

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Paul Roetzer is founder and CEO of PR 20/20, author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint (Wiley, 2014) and The Marketing Agency Blueprint (Wiley, 2012), and creator of Marketing Score.

Twitter: @paulroetzer

LinkedIn: Paul Roetzer

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  • by John Ellett Thu Dec 8, 2011 via mobile

    Great article! For the past 11 years, we've been building the agency you describe at nFusion. It is not easy to do, but clients do love it. I believe the reason it is not done more often is because it is hard to do. We're constantly refining and enhancing our skill set, which runs counter to many people's desire for stability and predictability. Thee is never a dull moment which keeps things exciting!

    Thanks for your post.

  • by John kottcamp Sun Dec 11, 2011 via mobile

    Great article. I echo the sentiments and would go one step further. A new breed of firm is emerging that morphs the technology capabilities of a software company with the business and strategy chops of a large consulting firm and make it dedicated to helping clients become truly customer centric. That is where we should all be heading and there are a few good shops who will be leading the revolution. I know because I just joined one, Tahzoo, last week.

  • by Yves Mon Jan 30, 2012 via web

    Much appreciated article ! I would have put your last point first : the key ingredient of an integrated campaign - in my experience - is the purpose. Without it, the others are difficult to manage.

  • by Douglas Burdett Tue Feb 7, 2012 via web

    I just read this and was about to post it to the Marketing Agency Insider group on LinkedIn and comment on how remarkably consistent it is with Paul Roetzer's new book. Then I looked again and noticed who wrote it. D'oh!

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