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Businesses expect the marketing and advertising agencies they employ to do a bit of everything, from properly understanding current objectives to presenting ideas and solutions beyond the conventional, according to a recent report from Domus and Harris Interactive.

Asked about the importance of various qualities agencies can have, most executives at large companies rated each of the 11 options presented as being important.

Three qualities in particular were considered extremely important by a majority or near-majority of those surveyed: Understanding the client's business objectives, being aligned with those objectives, and constantly thinking about the client's needs.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 155 director-level or higher employees at US companies with annual revenue of $250 million or more.

Shared Goals

  • 55% of respondents view the agencies they work with as business partners.
  • 30% consider agencies to be just another line-item/expense.

Unmet Needs

  • 82% of respondents say they have business needs that are unmet by internal staff or current agencies.
  • These unmet needs include measuring and reporting the business impact and ROI of marketing and advertising programs (43% of respondents), identifying new revenue streams (33%), taking advantage of Big Data opportunities (28%), getting "problem projects" completed (24%), and providing useful/actionable audience segmentation (22%).

Current Satisfaction

Most respondents give an excellent or good rating to the agencies they currently work with.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 155 director-level or higher employees at US companies with annual revenue of $250 million or more who have some decision-making responsibilities for marketing or advertising at their company.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji