Only 9% of senior-level marketers say traditional ad agencies are doing a good job of evolving and extending service capabilities in the digital age, according to a study by the CMO Council.

Moreover, such firms are likely to be challenged in their retention of client relationships: 48% of surveyed senior marketers say they are hiring specialized digital marketing solution and service providers to implement new social, mobile, and interactive strategies in 2012, whereas 47% plan to build internal capabilities and use incumbent agency services less.

In addition, 45% of senior marketers say they are bringing in outside consultants to develop digital programs.

Below, additional findings from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council report on client/agency effectiveness titled "More Gain, Less Strain."

Senior marketers say most agencies are lagging or struggling to modify or adapt their core competencies and capabilities:

  • 29% say traditional agencies are acquiring—but not fully integrating—digital marketing capabilities.
  • 22% say agencies are playing catching up to new technology-driven digital specialists.
  • 22% say agencies are struggling to transition their business models and service offerings.

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