What Agencies Can Expect From New Business in 2013

New Year Brings New Challenges

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The days when agencies could expect multiple $100 million-plus , agency-of -record accounts to go up for grabs each year are now barely visible in the rear-view mirror. Here's what to expect from new business in 2013.

Michael Goldberg, Deutsch CMO
Michael Goldberg, Deutsch CMO

In 2012, there was no shortage of roster trimming and project work rather than AOR assignments. With the economy continuing to put pressure on marketing budgets, finding revenue will be tough for many shops.

"We're seeing more of a desire to not necessarily leave an agency, but to negotiate lower fees and find efficiencies," said Ann Billock, principal at consultancy Ark Advisors.

Agencies need to get used to earning clients' business bit by bit, even pitching for every little project on clients they've long worked for. "There's a reluctance to say the term "AOR' because clients want to have something like an open-marriage relationship, or an option to have an "out,'" said Michael Goldberg, chief marketing officer at Deutsch.

Agencies in 2013 must carefully balance revenue with potential for doing great creative. They'll also need to keep searching for dollars outside of the marketing suite. "Developing IP or innovative platforms makes you more valuable to your clients and there's a potential opportunity for revenue shares, or coming with technologies of your own to license and sell," said Ms. Billock.

Industry execs anticipate heightened interest from marketers in communications planning and analytics capabilities. And as the lines blur, agencies will find themselves pitching against a variety of new players.

"One of the things we're hoping to see more of this year is digital agencies participating more in general-market reviews," said Ms. Billock.

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