AgencySparks Survey Reveals How Marketing Agencies View Their Business Development Efforts

At AgencySparks, we have worked with a LOT of marketing agencies and clients over the last 3+ years. As we onboard new agency partners, we put them through the ringer - a process we call the Marketing Readiness Report™ where we survey the CEO/leadership, interview key staff, current clients, past clients, and even clients who did not select the agency in a pitch process. We deliver the resulting report after a month of prodding interviews paired with our insights and recommendations.

As AgencySparks grows, we are looking to launch some new services that benefit marketing clients and agencies. In order to learn more about areas we can better serve agencies, we decided to conduct a survey to ask what areas of business development they are strongest and weakest. We were happy to receive responses from 40+ agency principals, and the results were a little surprising:

1. How would you rate the following aspects of your marketing agency's business development process in each area? (5 is best - 1 is worst):

AgencySparks - Agency Business Development Survey Results

2. In which area do you feel your marketing agency needs the most help?

  • Positioning - 18% (7 responses)
  • Systems/Infrastructure/Tools -  10% (4 responses)
  • Content -  15% (6 responses)
  • Outreach/Relationship Building - 41% (16 responses)
  • Pitch Process/Closing - 13% (5 responses)
  • Other 2.63% (1 response)

3. Which area is strongest for your marketing agency?

  • Positioning - 18% (7 responses)
  • Systems/Infrastructure/Tools -  15% (6 responses)
  • Content - 5% (2 responses)
  • Outreach/Relationship Building - 18% (7 responses)
  • Pitch Process/Closing - 38% (15 responses)
  • Other 5% (2 responses)

It was not surprising to us that agencies felt the weakest doing outreach and building relationships and felt the strongest with pitch process and closing. In our experience, agencies have an inflated sense of confidence with closing new business. They often say to us: "just get us in the room, and we can close the deal", even when the numbers bear out that they are not that successful.

It was also surprising that agencies were the most negative or neutral about their own content creation efforts. Perhaps there is an opportunity for someone to create an agency that creates content for agencies. 

Since AgencySparks is all about helping make appropriate connections between brands and marketing agencies, we will continue to offer services that help better facilitate those connections.


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