A whopping three quarters of UK brand-side marketers are considering bringing their marketing in-house in 2016-17, according to a new survey by visual presentation platform Prezi.
While the majority of marketers surveyed (83 per cent) said that there was real value in having an agency, they didn't want to be tied down by onerous and expensive contracts.
Fully 71 per cent of the 146 respondents said that they prefer paying agencies on a per-project basis, rather than keeping them on retainer.
We know best
In recent years, companies have begun to view outsourcing their marketing to agencies as an expense they could manage better with an in-house team, because data has made companies better placed to understand their customers. The first-party data which a firm collects can offer a unique insight into individual customers' interests and preferences.
Moreover, many see constant engagement with the public on social media as increasingly important to their brand. Agencies, with a host of other clients, are often unable to provide such real-time, reactive services.
Prezi's research also indicates that marketers who continue to use agencies are expecting more bang for their buck. Over three quarters of respondents said that they now expect more for the same money – although 90 per cent wouldn't go for a cheaper option if it meant sacrificing better creativity or design.
When it comes to pitching for work, marketers cited quality ideas and chemistry as the most important factors for choosing an agency.
But a pitch's presentation can be a deal-breaker. Three quarters of marketers said they would consider rejecting a pitch presented in a poor way. And 91 per cent of marketers agreed that a bad presentation would make them question the creative credentials of those pitching.