Nearly one-third of marketers are ‘not satisfied’ with their current agency model, CMO Club finds


By Minda Smiley, Reporter

April 16, 2018 | 3 min read

A recent survey conducted by the CMO Club found that nearly one-third of chief marketing officers aren’t happy with their current agency model.


According to the report, which surveyed 106 CMOs from both B2B and consumer-facing brands, 30% of marketers stated they are “not satisfied” with their current agency model. While 14% said that they are “highly satisfied” with their agency lineup, 55% reported being only “moderately satisfied.”

The survey comes as marketers continue to grapple with whether or not the traditional “agency of record” (AOR) model is still a viable option for brands today. Many brands are increasingly looking to smaller, specialized shops for project-based work, while others are beginning to bring resources in-house. Companies including Unilever and Verizon have recently bolstered their in-house capabilities, with the latter hiring Andrew McKechnie as its chief creative officer last year.

Nearly half of the marketers surveyed in the report said they have an AOR, but only 22% said they work solely with that agency. The remaining 25% said they employ an AOR in addition to other agencies. Out of those who don’t use an AOR model, 30% said they work with a single holding company and select multiple agencies from within, while 24% simply said they work with “multiple” agencies.

The majority of marketers surveyed cited “lack of innovation/creativity” as a source of dissatisfaction with the AOR model. More than one-third complained that AOR capabilities are “too narrow” for their needs, and 31% took issue with the fact that their account is typically run by less experienced people at an AOR.

"Large agencies can no longer provide all the services that clients need to meet today’s insatiable appetite for content," the report stated. "So it is no surprise that brands are largely dissatisfied with their agency of record model."

The report was produced in partnership with Globality.


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