Overburdened marketers increasingly dependent on agencies, claims study

Budget cuts: forcing marketers to rely increasingly on third-party agencies says study
Budget cuts: forcing marketers to rely increasingly on third-party agencies says study

Half of UK marketers admit to being dependent on third-party agencies after years of budget cuts coupled with an explosion in the number of media channels, according to a new report.

The 'Back to Creativity' report from marketing services production company Charterhouse was based on an independent survey of 200 senior marketing professionals across the UK, France, Germany and Italy.

It paints a picture of marketers struggling to cope in the face of rising workloads and falling departmental budgets, leading to an increased dependency on third-party agencies, with the marketer's role shifting to one of coordination and administration.

More than 40% of respondents have seen a reduction in the number of personnel in their marketing department in the past five years, while 30% have also reported internal budget cutbacks.

However, while resources have been depleted as a result of the economic downturn, the explosion in channels has put marketers under greater pressure to deliver, with 67% saying they are now expected to do more with less.

More work

Almost two-thirds of marketers (61%) agree that the rise of social media has created more work for their department, which has led 52% to report hiring more agencies to cope with the demand to produce an increasing amount of content.

This rather unwelcome evolution is risking low morale and poor job satisfaction in the marketing departments.

As a result, 48% of European and 50% of UK marketers claim their department has become dependent on its agencies.

Anthony Hawkins, Charterhouse new business director, said: "Overburdened marketers are turning to third parties to offload the tasks that they simply don't have time for. But, in an unexpected twist, this has meant that many have found their role has become one of coordination and administration.

"This rather unwelcome evolution is risking low morale and poor job satisfaction in the marketing department. Clearly, this dependence on agencies and the impact it is having on marketers needs to be addressed by business leaders."

The Back to Creativity survey was conducted by Coleman Partners on behalf of Charterhouse in May.

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