Ad agency survival: content that converts

eMarketer’s article about ad agencies losing business sparked a thought that has rumbling around my brain lately. I think the future for ad agencies is in developing lots of great content that gets the reaction their clients are looking for. What advertiser wouldn’t keep an agency when they see success?

The post describes concerns by half of digital agencies that clients are taking services in-house and one-fifth who lose business to consultancies. It suggests that agencies might mimic consultancies to stay current.

Agencies have watched their revenue streams degrade for decades. The 15% commission offered agencies by media outlets have been whittled away. For years major advertisers wanting to keep more of their ad dollar have tested agencies competing for their business. Sometimes agencies win a piece of business but only keep 5% of the commissions.

So what are the pain points that agencies can address for prospective clients?

The explosion of ravenous media channels creates a huge need for streams of constant content to attract traffic, generate engagement, reviews, referrals and conversions. The challenge is to understand what motivates the audience to sign up, rave about their experience and buy again. That’s where an agency shines: by demonstrating their expertise to address those customer needs.

It is so much work to test, tweak and retest these campaigns. Most advertisers are already strapped for time to control every aspect of nurturing campaigns well. Also, they won’t pay the higher salaries required to hire the team of senior-level experts in every area with a great conversion track record. Most don’t have enough budget to generate, repurpose  and promote hundreds of blog posts, podcast episodes, webinars and lead magnets into thousands of micro messages. The size formats for images and copy are simply mind-boggling.

Methods, channels and creative formats will continue to change rapidly. I believe agencies that can stay ahead of the curve will be a great asset to advertisers either as agencies or consultants.


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