Fill the Gap: What Marketers Really Need from Agencies

By | August 20, 2013
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According to Accenture’s Turbulence for the CMO report, “nearly four in 10 CMOs say they do not have the right people, tools and resources to meet their marketing objectives.” This leaves unprecedented opportunities for those agencies able to:

  • Develop versatile talent trained in high-demand services.
  • Become adept at marketing technology integration.
  • Execute actions that produce results.

Below, I outline where the gaps exist in technology, talent and strategy, as derived from my Inbound 2013 VAR presentation. My hope is to arm your agency with the information needed to evolve your services, marketing, sales and brand to capitalize on untapped opportunities and areas of need.


Technology innovation has changed the game for marketers—giving us new and better ways to both interact with consumers and manage marketing programs internally. In The Marketing Agency Blueprint, I refer to this as change velocity.

And while technology advancements are already moving at rapid speeds, there is no end in sight. In fact, 96% of B2B marketers believe that “the pace of change in technology and marketing will continue to accelerate,” according to new Forrester research.

As a result, many organizations lag in their utilization of available tech solutions to enhance marketing programs. Based on Marketing Score research*:

  • 53% do not use call tracking.
  • 26% do not use marketing automation/lead nurturing.
  • 21% do not have a content management system.

By becoming better versed in marketing technology integration, there is an opportunity to differentiate your agency and enhance client campaigns.


Similarly, change velocity demands hybrid talent. Marketing success requires tech-savvy professionals that are skilled across core disciplines of search, mobile, social, content, analytics, web, PR and email marketing. These pros are a rare breed.

In fact, many marketers struggle to keep pace with the options and opportunities available, and lack the skills necessary to execute. For more on the changing talent landscape, download our ebook, Evolution of the Prototype Marketer.

That said: agencies are better equipped then their corporate counterparts to deliver in high-growth service areas, like content and social. According to Marketing Score data, agencies ranked 61% higher on their overall marketing team score than corporate marketers. (Note: This score looked at 15 modern marketing team skills.) 

With a continued investment in talent, agencies are well positioned to fill the talent gap that exists in corporations.


Finally, to achieve meaningful results, marketing activities must be aligned with the sales funnel and high-priority goals. We’ve found, however, that a misalignment often exists between goals and activities in many marketing departments.

In looking at the sales funnel and high-priority goals, as identified by Marketing Score:

  • 44% of organizations selected build brand.
  • 81% selected generate leads.
  • 77% selected convert sales.
  • 48% selected increase loyalty.

But across the board, critical performance metrics for each stage don’t align with these goals, as demonstrated by the screenshot below.

Marketing Funnel Performance


In other words, organizations are unable to drive the performance they would like to see. This presents a large opportunity for agencies that are able to tie actions to measurable and meaningful results across the funnel.

Are You Positioning Your Agency for Success?

As an agency, what are you doing to capitalize on these gaps in technology, talent and strategy? Share your comments and ideas in the comments below.

For additional insight on the topic:

Fill the Gap: What Marketers Really Need from Agencies from MarketingAgencyInsider

* Data is based on Marketing Score research (, collected from hundreds of assessments in which marketing professionals rated their marketing programs, including core areas of performance, lead sources, marketing team, marketing technology utilization, social media, content and public relations.