The Next Digital Leap

Mapping the Path Forward in Performance

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Each year in the CMO Council’s State of Marketing research, senior marketing leaders around the world agree that digital investment, strategy and technology is advancing at a rapid pace. From investments across digital media channels to the automation solutions that power them, digital has moved far beyond “experiment” and is now the de-facto norm for customer engagement. Investments are also growing in the partnership network that is helping support everything from strategy to execution. But how are these investments paying off? Are marketers truly satisfied in how their budgets, technologies, agencies and marketing performance partners are faring?

The CMO Council conducted a mid-year snapshot of how digital marketing performance is advancing. From budget intentions to marketing performance partner ratings, this study shares how marketing leaders feel they are doing today and how they are mapping out digital priorities over the next two years specific to ramping up digital performance to take the next leap in digital engagement and experience.


Facts & Stats

While 63% of marketers rate the contributions of their agency partners as extremely valuable or pretty good, 66% are planning to make one or more changes to their agency rosters in the next 12 months - State of Marketing 2014

16% of marketers reviewed and realigned agency resources and consultants to increase value - State of Marketing 2014 

58% of marketers are managing relationships across two to five agency partners. For organizations with revenues greater than $1 billion, 23% manage in excess of 20 agencies globally and 6% admit they have lost count - State of Marketing 2014

The majority of marketers work with and manage between two to 10 agency partners across their marketing networks: 58% work with two to five while 21% work with five to 10 - State of Marketing 2014

Just over half of respondents believe their agency partners are doing a pretty good job. 35% say their partners are average or underperforming and 12% believe their agencies are extremely valuable - State of Marketing 2014

34% of marketers say they are not planning any agency shifts in the next 12 months. 26% of marketers who will be bringing on new agencies are primarily looking to bolster social media skills. Only 9% of marketers are planning to bring on mobile-specific agencies - State of Marketing 2014

41% of marketers will change firms due to a lack of new thinking while 40% plan on moving because business results and outcomes did not meet their expectations - State of Marketing 2014

7% of marketers look to review, consolidate or change agency roster - State of Marketing 2014

HubSpot estimates that for every $1 spent on marketing software, $5 to $10 is spent on agency services - Marketing Land

A January 2015 study by Econsultancy for SoDA found that client-side marketers worldwide were cutting back on the number of digital agencies they used. More than 25% of respondents had taken digital efforts entirely in-house, while the number using just one agency rose from 23% to 32% between 2014 and 2015. About four in 10 were using two or more digital agencies, down drastically from 64% the prior year - eMarkter

Agency executives say it’s growing increasingly complicated and unnecessary to manage many relationships, and they are now attempting to streamline the number of digital ad partners they work with - Wall Street Journal

Advertising and media agencies want to be more involved with development of clients’ business strategy, according to a 2015 survey from North American Effie Awards Final Round judges, conducted in partnership with the Forbes CMO Network - Forbes


Studies & White Papers

October 2014 - CMOs: Time for digital transformation - Accenture

February 2015 - Cloud Computing Market Trends in 2015 - Gigaom

2015 - Marketing Tech 101: An Executive Guide to Understanding and Applying Emerging Technologies - Act-On


March 2015 - 3 questions to ask before ditching your agency partners - iMedia Connection

March 2015 - 10 Tips To Help Move Your Client Partner-Agency Relationship Forward - MediaPost

April 2015 - Ad Exec Says Traditional Agencies Will Never Understand Digital Marketing -MediaPost

July 2015 - Your Agency Hates You and You Don't Even Know It - Advertising Age

July 2015 - From Mad Men to Sad Men: Is the client/agency relationship in crisis? - Campaign

July 2015 - CMOs Want Better Data Expertise - MediaPost

July 2015 - Digital Marketing Symposium: Trust Is Currency In Collaborative Economy -

July 2015 - Mobile Marketing Important To Advertisers, But Not Top Priority - MediaPost 

July 2015 - Hungry, Hungry Ad Tech: Innovation Through Acquisition - Marketing Land

July 2015 - The Customer’s Keeper: The Modern Digital Marketer - ClickZ

July 2015 -What Customers Want From Their Omni-Channel Experience - MinuteHack

July 2015 - The CMO’s Guide to 2015 Mobile Trends and ROI - Business 2 Community

July 2015 - 10 C-Suite Jobs of the Future - Fast Company

July 2015 - Embracing the rise of the technical CMO - Retail Gazette

July 2015 - It's Not Digital Marketing; It's Just Marketing - Direct Marketing News

July 2015 - Bridging the CIO-CMO gap - Computer Weekly

July 2015 - Ad Tech Is Dead, Long Live Marketing Tech - Tech Crunch