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Why Q2 2023 is still prime for major brands to hire agencies

by Noah Thomas

May 24, 2023

WinmoEdge, a leading sales lead resource by Winmo, closely monitors agency hiring trends, tracking account movements, decision-maker shifts, challenges, and other signs of impending agency changes with over 80% accuracy in review predictions.

A study of the 200+ Agency of Record (AOR) hirings reported by WinmoEdge in 2022 revealed a significant shift in timing. Keep reading for key trends and exclusive insights into brands heading toward reviews now, based on WinmoEdge's predictive analysis.

In contrast to previous years when Q1 saw the majority of AOR hires, the majority of hires in 2022 occurred in Q2 and Q3, with May and August being the busiest months. Data is sourced from Winmo and excludes project-based work. It is worth noting that the total number of reviews in 2022 and 2021 decreased compared to 2020, but an increase is expected in 2023.

If this trend continues in 2023, agencies seeking new business will enter a period of abundant relationship changes. With the crucial Q2 timing in mind, we highlight some of the new business opportunities that WinmoEdge's prediction experts are currently focusing on.

In 2022, the majority of agency of record hires took place in Q2 and Q3, with May and August being the most active months.

This timing is in contrast with prior years when Q1 tended to show a higher rate of opportunity. If the trend repeats in 2023, it means agencies prospecting for new business are entering a fruitful period of relationship changes. With key Q2 timing in mind, we’re surfacing a few of the agency new business opportunities our prediction gurus at WinmoEdge have their sights on.

Agency opportunities: Projected reviews in Q2-Q3

If you’re looking to capitalize on this shift in timing, here are a few key opportunities are team has on their radar for this quarter and next.

1. Apparel opportunity: TravisMathew

TravisMathew has launched a new campaign featuring Chris Pratt targeting male millennial golfers through CTV, YouTube, and social media. The brand’s current creative agency partner is The Kimba Group, according to Winmo, and as it continues to build its roster under recently promoted CMO, Leif Sunderland, agencies should reach out. TravisMathew has increased YTD digital ad spend by approximately 364% from 2022 per Winmo Pro. The brand is likely to continue increase ad spend, continue working with celebrity influencers, and continue building out its agency roster.

2. Future opportunity: Walmart

Walmart’s recent partnership with Innovid to enhance its connected TV (CTV) activity presents an interesting opportunity for agencies. With Walmart expected to increase its CTV spend and diversify display advertising and sponsored search, the retail giant is likely to seek new agency partners under a new, recently hired marketing VP who is likely to continue upping digital spend to target Gen-Z and Millennials. The brand’s current agency roster includes Publicis North America, FCB Chicago, and Deutsch, among others, per Winmo. Agencies seeking to work with one of the world’s largest retailers should act fast to secure a partnership with Walmart.

3. Under-the-radar prospect: Mad Rabbit

Mad Rabbit’s recent $10m Series A funding round, led by Lucas Brand Equity, presents an opportunity for agencies. The company seeks to ramp up its digital ad spend, build out its marketing team, and expand its product offerings. Mad Rabbit’s target demographic is millennial men, and YTD data shows it has spent approximately $141.9k on digital display ads, with 18.8m impressions via Facebook and Instagram. With a current agency roster that includes Beach House PR and The Lead PR, the company may use a portion of the new funds to expand its agency partnerships.

4. When one hire can lead to another: New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing just awarded its media remit to Exverus. And — considering agency changes typically follow one another — this as an opportunity for creative, PR, digital analytics, social media management, influencer, multicultural, and experiential services. New Belgium will likely launch a new campaign, shift strategy, and continue increasing digital spending. Additionally, expect a return to higher national TV spend in Q2 2023. Exverus will lead New Belgium’s media strategy, planning, and buying across linear TV, connected TV, social media, streaming video, and direct mail partnerships.

Industry insights:

Industries like consumer goods and food & beverage account for the lion’s share of agency appointments reported by Winmo the last three years. However, consumer goods has seen modest declines, from 76 reviews in 2020 to 54 in 2022. Restaurants, meanwhile, are on the rise, accounting for 5% of reviews in 2020 and 8% of reviews in 2022.

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