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Agency Business Trends 


What is the Winning Business Model for Your Agency?

Henrik Jensen studies the highest performing advertising agencies in Denmark to learn how they outperform the competition. Jensen identifies three key characteristics of successful agencies:

  • Specialization
  • Outstanding performance of the management team
  • Strong agency culture.

Agencies Transform for the Future

Tim Williams of Ignition Consulting Group outlines seven ways advertising agencies are transforming for the future:

  • Expertise in place of versatility
  • Separating high- and low-value services in place of a blending approach
  • Agile teams in place of the traditional agency hierarchy
  • Open source talent management in place of static staffing
  • Project management in addition to account management
  • IP development in place of just work for hire
  • A varied compensation portfolio in place of just time-based billing.

Evolution of the Advertising Agency Business

Statista created this Giant Chart exclusively for the 4A's to illustrate the changes that have occurred in the advertising agency industry since 2000. Topics include growth in employment, agency revenue, fastest growing ad hubs, share of advertising expenditure by medium, and more.

Agency Statistics

The following lists compiled by 4A's Research Services shows statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Country Business Patterns, and Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages that shed light on the number of agencies in the U.S. and their workforce.

How Ad Agencies Must and Will Evolve

Bill Koenigsberg, founder, president and CEO of Horizon Media, shares his vision of how agencies need to evolve and how media buyers' jobs will change.

Role of Agencies Shifting From Tactical Execution to Strategy

Several agency executives explore the keys to agencies remaining valuable to clients in this article from CMO.

A Mind Map of the 2020 Agency

Tim Williams of Ignition Consulting Group describes the key challenges that marketers are facing and lays out the skills and competencies needed by agencies to meet those challenges.

The SoDA Report 2015

This report from SoDA explores many facets of the changing and challenging digital landscape. Topics covered include client-agency relations, marketing spending, agency ecosystems, innovation labs, project vs. retainer work, and much more.

The Biggest Threats to the Agency Model

Agency professionals weigh in on what they see as the biggest threats to the business and how to evolve to meet these challenges in this blog post from HubSpot.

The Forrester Wave: Innovation Agencies

Forrester evaluates ten agencies that are excelling at innovation. These marketing services are developing transformational new products, insights or experiences for clients.

RSW/US 2015 New Year Outlook Report

 RSW/US surveyed senior level marketers and agency executives for their perspective on the business outlook for 2015. Some of the highlights include:

  • Biggest tensions and disconnects between agencies and marketers
  • Marketing spending expectations
  • The movement to consolidate agency rosters vs. specialization
  • Disenchantment with using search consultants

Ad Agency New Business Survey

Worldwide Partners surveyed independent agencies about their expectations for agency income, profits, and new business activity in 2015. Respondents indicate that the best opportunities for 2015 are enhancing digital service offerings and attracting higher spending new business clients. Topics covered include expectations for spending levels, hiring of new employees, and opportunities and challenges in the business.

2014 RSW/US Agency Marketer Business Report

This RSW/US survey reports the challenges associated with agency new business and the tools that agencies view as most effective in generating new business. Shifts in the amount of an agency's business that is project work vs. retainer-based work is examined. Marketers' expectations during initial meetings with agencies, how they prefer to be contacted, and their views of what agencies are lacking are explored.

Research Insights from 4A's Transformation 2014

These highlights from the 4A's 2014 Transformation Conference explore the following challenges and opportunities:

  1. Agency reinvention and innovation
  2. Collaboration, culture and talent
  3. Value of agencies
  4. Purposeful marketing and good citizenship

The Conflict War: How Clients and Agencies Can Both Win

Lauren Crampsie, WW CMO, Ogilvy & Mather, makes the case for a more rational approach to conflict management. Her presentation at the ANA Financial Management Conference provides guidance to help clients access the best agency talent, while allowing agencies to leverage their expertise and scale.

Agency 2020: Unleashing the Value of Ideas

EffectiveBrands provides the differing perspectives of marketer and agency thought leaders on how agencies are doing in a fast-changing marketplace. The report provides a view of where the business is headed and what needs to be done.

Why Your Agency Needs To Think About Structure

Smart advice from Tim Williams of Ignition Consulting on how to think about a new agency structure, and the challenges and opportunities a new model can solve.

Progressive Agency Models

In this video, Tim Williams from Ignition Consulting discusses innovative approaches to the ways agencies have restructured, the types of services they provide, and how these agencies make money.

View the Presentation on Slideshare

Embedding An Agency Culture

Linda Rosanio and Jan Talamo describe how the Star Group has developed an agency culture that has excelled at being "discipline agnostic and outcome-centric". Their integrated, collaborative model ventures beyond traditional agency services to encompass product development and working with startups.

The Changing Agency Landscape: A Forrester Research Presentation

The agency model is challenged by the continual innovation in digital channels, the changing media behaviors of the customer, and marketers' frustration with a siloed approach to digital marketing. Marketers must expect that agencies will overhaul their role from agents of the brand to value exchange mediators, balancing the brand's goals against its audience's needs.

4A's Economy and Agency Implications Survey

The 4A's conducted this survey to understand the degree to which the recession affected our members. The 4A's also wanted to understand the implications the difficult economic environment had on agency economics, staffing levels, and operating priorities, including client-services activities.



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My Notebook

My Notebook

4A's CreateTech
Nov. 11-12 | Conference
This year's event for agency creatives and technology heads, will be held in NYC. Don't miss speakers from Facebook, Google and more!
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