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Marketeers struggle to transition to the 8-second world (and other insights) – Marketing Agency Report

Just finished reading the published Marketing and Advertising Agency Report for last year, and it has some really valuable insights.

The report discusses the challenges facing agencies and their clients in today’s fast-paced, rapidly-changing digital landscape.


The era of uncertainty has made it difficult for agencies to navigate the challenges of talent and culture, data proliferation, and economic, technological, and geopolitical instability. The report suggests that marketers should start by reflecting on their internal processes and goals before seeking new agency partnerships, and that agency relationships should be structured as partnerships focused on desired outcomes. The report also highlights the challenges of transitioning to the fast-paced, short-attention-span world of Gen Z and the need for agencies and clients to adapt to this new reality.

The key takeaways are:

  • Agencies face a variety of challenges. Everybody’s squeezing them. Consumer media habits are changing, data proliferation presents technical challenges, and the era of economic, technological, and geopolitical instability exposes operational shortcomings.

  • Rethinking agency relationships starts with internal reflection. Marketers rethink their agency roster as consumers’ pace picks up. But before considering new partners, marketers should think about their desired marketing pace and make sure they have the right goals, systems, and processes in place.

  • It’s much more likely to succeed if agency relationships are structured as partnerships. Let agencies experiment with how to reach strategic goals. Define roles and set up the right commercial structure to ensure alignment between corporate and marketing goals.

How are we addressing some of these challenges in 2023:

  • Set our own culture. Very often in an agency, your culture gets impacting by that of your clients. You want to be part of their team, but that can impact on you building your own identity and culture. Post covid (if there is such thing) we are all changing how we work. As an agency that for the last 20 years has been owned by a few people, we’re making the big leap of divesting ownership to make every member of staff an owner and partner. We want everyone to own part of their own future, and feel the joy of building something.

  • Be paid on real success. We work with clients to understand what success looks like, and it’s very usually measured pipeline or converted opportunities. We then align our (agency and staff) to that goal.

  • Really understand what the barriers are in our market, and meet those head on with innovation. It’s very easy to treat the symptoms. As a growth agency, we live or die by cost per lead and conversion to opportunity. So when clicks get more expensive, and CPA’s go up – the easy fix is to dumb and create fomo content to bring the cost per lead down. The problem is your lead quality drops, so your measurable pipeline is decimated. Our response has been to address the cause – and we believe that is the issue of the value exchange – I understand you get all my data, but whats in it for me to give you my attention (on a pdf, video, webinar etc). So we’ve developed and have launched Cleo, as a stand alone rewards platform, based on a simple premise. Your time for good. Attend our webinar and we’ll carbon offset your computer usage for a whole year (and more). The attendee gets a nice completion certificate in the form of an NFT, and the brand gets a highly engaged lead at a lower cost (often lower than the offer – so it’s self funding) and the planet gets a helping hand from our all online content being consumed.

By the way, if you’d like to learn more about Cleo, here is a short video. It’s open now to be used by brands or by agencies looking to build the offer into content driven campaigns.