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of marketers plan to use agencies more in 2024 40.7%


of marketers plan to use agencies more in 2024

What challenges do marketers cite when working with agencies?

Quality of work:


Costs/fee structure:


Limited understanding of client's business:


Speed & flexibility of execution:


Lack of subject matter expertise:



North America

Powerful partnerships are built on true understanding

When asked to identify the top challenges of working with agencies, senior marketers’ responses were not shocking; quality of work, fee structure, and subject matter expertise were noted as three of the highest-rated concerns. In the fourth spot, however, sits a more nuanced challenge that justifies further investigation: limited understanding of the client’s company and business goals.

What keeps agencies from truly understanding what their clients do and what they hope to achieve? With an eagerness to complete work on time and at a profit, agencies can fall into the trap of focusing on delivery rather than the relationship. To build a true partnership between agency and client, agencies must work to understand what the client wants, who the client is, and why the client needs an agency to begin with. Critically, this work must start before the first scope of work is createdand before the clock starts ticking.

Approaching the initial ask with curiosity and a spirit of partnership is required to clearly define the goal for the program. Building a partnership is not as simple as a client filling out an intake formit’s a relationship that forms over a series of conversations, tough questions, and thoughtful answers. When done right, not only will the agency understand the clientboth parties will understand each other.

Why quality and subject matter expertise is a win-win!

AMP.24 revealed that work quality and subject matter expertise are two of the biggest challenges of working with agencies. Many agencies provide the former, some the latter, but those that can consistently deliver high quality work at scale while also developing true expertise in your field are unicorns. If you're searching for such an agency, here are three factors to look for:

1.) Understanding of the Niche:
Whether it’s expertise in a particular technology stack, knowledge on industry-specific regulations, understanding of a unique audience’s pain points, meticulous quality assurance processes, or something else entirely, specialized capabilities can be critical differentiators in your search for a quality agency with subject matter expertise.

2.) Specialized Skills and Knowledge:
Rather than offering a one-size-fits all approach to services, agencies that operate at the nexus of high-quality work and subject matter expertise are typically those that will tailor their approach to your specific goals, needs, and audience. They’ll also be proactivealways looking beyond the current scope to push the edge of innovation and keep you ahead.

3.) Customized Solutions:
Over time, the right agencies become trusted advisors to their clientsproviding guidance, insights, and strategic direction to help them achieve business goals. If your agency feels more like a vendor than a partner, it may be time to look elsewhereand, hopefully, find your unicorn.


Together, we go further

When asked their biggest challenge in working with agencies, a whopping 49% of surveyed marketers in the EMEA region highlighted the agency’s limited understanding of the client’s business. This reinforces how vital it is for both parties to commit time and resources upfront to immersing ourselves in the client’s worldwhether that’s through desk research, digital listening, or the workshops and briefing sessions that get a project on track from the word ‘go’.

At April Six, we build powerful partnerships based on the principle that nothing great is made alone. Spending time in our clients’ worlds, remaining committed to solving their challenges over the long haul, and being prepared to ask all the questionseven the uncomfortable onesthese values are embedded in everything we do.

In a world of tight margins and even tighter time frames, it’s easy for any one person to slip up or fall behind. In fact, it’s inevitable. But togetheras a team at April Six and in our partnerships with our clientswe can lift each other up and keep moving forward. Together, we’re heading into an exciting new era of technology that can help us achieve our goals at speed, and, critically, allow our teams to focus on the activities that will make the most difference.