What Industry Leaders Predict
Hitting just about the mid-point of 2022, it’s a good time to reflect on how agencies have been performing through the first quarter, and what they should be prepared to face for the rest of the year. Deltek’s recently released 2022 Outlook: Marketing Agency Leadership Report amalgamated the experiences and expertise of hundreds of agency leaders worldwide, capturing their top concerns and noting the priority challenges they expect to face through the remainder of the year.
Agency Leaders Share Optimism for 2022
The good news is that the collective attitude of these agency leaders, including CEOs, owners, and department heads, is essentially optimistic. The market recovery means demand for agency services (and, accordingly, budgets!) continues to rebound. In many ways, the year ahead has potential for more performance and profit than pre-pandemic times. This can be ascribed to a kind of “great awakening” we all experienced during the past few years. We collectively realized that operational efficiency and internal systems improvement had big bottom-line impact.
Increase Investment in Technology
The takeaway from that realization, applied going forward by savvy agencies, is the importance of investing in project management systems, software and tools that make your staff as productive as possible. This might seem challenging at a time when the fight to attract and retain top talent is at the top of leadership priority lists of late, but survey respondents understand the long play here. These investments amplify the agency workflow process, efficiency and thus productivity of your talent. Furthermore, in the face of the inevitable talent churn impacting the industry, these systems and solutions keep intellectual property within an agency. Ultra-valuable information doesn’t walk out the door when there’s talent turnover.
2022 Outlook: Marketing Agency Leadership Report
Agency leaders reveal their predictions for 2022 including industry challenges, priorities and investments.
Focus on Professional Development
Stemming the tide of that turnover is another issue agency leadership is dialed into for 2022. This is driving a sharp focus on professional development, giving personnel access to training, education and certifications that make them increasingly valuable team members, and also build in some backup within teams themselves. Whether strengthening day-to-day abilities or introducing new skills that benefit clients, the agency can offer more competent, diverse services to clients while talent is incentivized to remain on board. It’s seen by enlightened leadership as a means to improving employee health and wellness as much as it is a way to better serve clients.
Emphasis on Profitable Growth
In terms of agency growth, the 2022 Outlook: Marketing Agency Leadership Report reflects a cautious optimism among industry leaders. More than 90 percent of respondents expect to realize more revenue in 2022. Interestingly, this won’t necessarily be the result of increased client expenditure. The report makes it clear that top-line and overall profits are growing, but not margin percentage. The reasons for this disparity include more detailed project scopes, better team/client communication, and meticulous review of current service agreements with key clients.
The 2022 Outlook: Marketing Agency Leadership Report is packed with revealing information and data on agency goals and challenges, and the strategies and tactics being deployed to address them. Give it a read and get a stronger sense of how your agency can move towards greater success in 2022.