2018 Marketing Relationship Survey Results & Insights

Why it matters

Searching for information/statistics on the agency-client relationship will turn up few results that are mostly outdated. That’s because brands would never think to ask these questions and agencies would only ask about relationships with their current clients. Because AgencySparks works to bridge the gap between agencies and clients, we are in a unique position to study these relationships.

Client-side marketers find these results valuable because (a) they want to be the best clients they can be and (b) they want to benchmark themselves with other client-side marketers.

Agency-side marketers find these results valuable because (a) they can get a real picture of how client-side marketers perceive the agency-client relationship, (b) they get insight into what REALLY matters to client-side marketers (whether they want to admit it or not), and c) agencies want to know how they can improve their own client relationships.


  • 10 Questions

  • 179 total respondents, 82 of which were identified respondents

  • Administered through SurveyMonkey from May 2018-August 2018 with anonymous responses permitted

  • AgencySparks targeted senior-level marketers via email, LinkedIn, social media, and paid media



Sample companies that responded to the 2018 - AgencySparks Marketing Relationship Survey:

Sample companies responding to the AgencySparks Marketing Relationship Survey - 2018


Insight #1

Marketers trust referrals more than any other route when it comes to agency selection.

83% of marketers find their agency partners through referrals of some kind.

How marketers find marketing agency partners


Insight #2

Marketers care most about chemistry, creativity, and professionalism when selecting an agency partner.

Clients agreed or strongly agreed most often that chemistry, creativity, and professionalism are important when selecting a marketing agency partner.

Insight #3

Clients do not care about agency awards, agency size, or the proximity of an agency.

Clients agreed or strongly agreed least often that agency awards, agency size, and proximity are important when selecting an agency partner.

factors important to marketers when selecting an agency partner


Insight #4

Organizations rarely work with only one marketing agency.

90% of marketers work with more than one agency. 60% of marketers worked with between 2-4 agencies, and 11% worked with 10 or more agencies.

Average number of agencies brands work with


Insight #5

Marketers were generally more satisfied with relationship-oriented attributes of their agency partnership than they were with the delivery-oriented attributes.

Marketers were more likely to answer very satisfied/satisfied when asked about relationship-oriented attributes like collaboration, responsiveness, and project management than they were when asked about delivery-oriented attributes like execution, creativity, innovativeness, value, and data-focused.

Marketers satisfaction with attributes of their marketing agency relationships


Insight #6

Agencies can differentiate themselves by ensuring that there are varying degrees of seniority on a client account.

63% of client-side marketers agree or strongly agree that seniority of team is an important factor when selecting an agency partner, but only 26% agree that their primary agency never puts junior talent on their account.

Insight #7

Agencies should flex their creative muscles more often!

92% of marketers agree that creativity is an important factor in the agency selection process… but only 66% of clients were satisfied with the creativity of their primary agency. 60% of marketers agree that innovativeness is an important factor in the agency selection process… but only 39% of clients feel like their primary agency regularly delivers innovative ideas.

Marketers perceptions of their primary agency relationship


Insight #8

Marketing spend

biggest areas of marketing spend this year vs. next year

Insight #9

Average NPS score for agencies


Here is a deck with details about the survey and results: