Last week, we discussed how market research is also critical for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). But what about small and medium-sized market research agencies? How are they suited for working with big clients?

A recent study conducted by the CMO Club, in partnership with Globality, among 106 CMOs from a range of B2C and B2B brands across all verticals revealed that chief marketing officers are moving away from the single agency of record (AOR) model, increasingly partnering with other agencies, especially small and mid-sized ones.

Among those CMOs who still use a single agency model (46%), over half said they are moderately satisfied with their current approach, while 30% said they are dissatisfied. Lack of innovation and creativity (55%) and narrow capabilities (35%) were the most commonly cited reasons for dissatisfaction. However, despite these issues and limitations, CMOs still find it difficult to make significant changes in their agency relationship. Top concerns are investing in educating new agencies to bring them up to speed on their needs, and the time-consuming process of finding
and vetting new agencies.

On the other hand, the other half of marketers said they are diversifying their providers, with small and mid-sized agencies being used by 58% of CMOs in the study. The personalized services (44%) offered, along with the more specialized/ skilled support (40%) are top reasons for diversifying agencies’ portfolio with smaller companies.

In an era in which technology is taking over, would clients turn more and more towards small agencies for faster results and more dedicated teams?

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