The new study by SoDA for its Digital Outlook Study was released as part of The SoDA Report 2015, Vol 1.
SoDA, known as the voice of the digital agency and production community, has released the authoritative annual Digital Outlook Study as part of The SoDA Report Vol 1 2015.
The study brings a wealth of industry specific information and highlights the challenges digital agencies are facing. Also, it looks to how client engagements are evolving and the industry is shifting along with campaign and project spending, the rise of innovation labs and talent retention across the world.
SoDa is an international association of digital marketing leaders and entrepreneurs, including 86 digital agencies and production forms across six continents.
Conducted in partnership with Econsultancy, the Digital Outlook Study is based on a global sample of 680, evenly split between advertisers and agencies with a large majority of senior company decision-makers.
According to the study, in-housing of digital efforts is a major challenge with 27% of companies claiming to work with no agencies, more than double the figure from 2014 and in-housing of digital efforts also means a threat to digital agencies, along with rise in the use programmatic platforms and commoditization of digital.
Clients that continue to work with agencies are also cutting back on their rosters; just 12% of brands had four or more digital agencies this year, down from 21% in 2014.
Also, over 38% of respondents says rapid commoditisation of digital work such as website development, app development and digital campaign production is proving to be a serious problem for their companies.
Nevertheless, agencies remain bullish about their prospects. 80% say the industry has moved in a positive direction and 76% say digital agencies are now more likely to become “lead” partner agency, an increase of 10% on 2014. The research also reveals that clients are investing heavily in digital, but beyond campaign budgets.
Key growth areas identified by the Digital Outlook Study include expertise in emerging trends, marketing creativity and customer centered marketing.
65% of brands are allocating increased spend to digital platforms, applications, tools and services that are non-marketing related. Also, 62% are investing more in customer insights and analytics and 52% are boosting user experience testing and research.
The SoDA Report is one of the world’s most widely-read publications in the digital marketing industry, with more than 330,000 views and downloads in 2014.
The report also includes original articles by the industry’s finest minds, exclusive interviews with thought leaders, as well as case studies of the world’s best digital marketing campaigns.