Sapient Suggest Digital Experience Is Key For Marketing Agencies' Survival

March 10, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
One in four organisations have already switched, or will consider switching from a marketing agency to an agency with a greater knowledge of the digital space. This is the stark warning from a new research survey sponsored by global services firm Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE).

The survey polled 500 marketing managers in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden on their attitudes about what the "agency of the future" will be-and what top qualities are being sought after by organisations. The results demonstrate that marketers are recognising the need to make greater use of digital marketing with "pull interactions," such as social and interactive media, which are becoming increasingly relevant over traditional mass media "push interactions." Germany is leading the way in the adoption of digital media, with the UK lagging behind.

Based on the survey results, Sapient Interactive, Sapient's marketing services group, has created the following top five wish list for the "agency of the future":

1. Digital Marketing Needs to be Offered as an Integral Services Offering
Digital marketing is beginning to challenge long established techniques, such as direct marketing. Respondents believe that the level of digital marketing is set to increase by 45% over the next 12 months. The growth in the UK is expected to be 24%.

2. Digital Marketing Knowledge is Crucial
Just over one in four companies have switched, or plan to switch to agencies with a greater knowledge of digital media within the next 12 months. Currently, only a quarter (26%) of UK marketing managers interviewed were 'extremely confident' that their current agency is well poised to take their brand through the challenges and opportunities of interactive advertising and marketing media.

3. Be Creative and Understand the Brand
The most important areas of expertise required for agencies are to be creative (88%), show brand knowledge (80%) and have a good understanding of consumer behaviour (72%).

4. More Use of "Pull Interactions" and Virtual Communities
When trying to engage consumers with their brand, 69% of UK company marketers want their agencies to use "pull interactions"-online communities such as Facebook-rather than traditional "push" campaigns. The results show that UK marketers are currently least interested in using social networks, while businesses in Switzerland and Germany are most likely to see value in engaging with consumers via social networks.

5. Practice What You Preach
Over a third of all UK respondents (34%) believe it is important that agency employees participate and use the same social networking and digital media that they recommend to their own clients.

Commenting on the trends,, Nigel Vaz, vice president responsible for Sapient Interactive in Europe, said, "results in the UK suggest that marketers are moving towards digital channels to communicate, with 19% of respondents having changed agency in the last 12 months alone. Although Europe still lags behind North America in terms of adoption, 30% of respondents are interested in leveraging public and private virtual communities to understand more about their target audience."

"As the survey confirmed, companies worldwide are planning to expand their usage of digital marketing," added Vaz. "While all countries surveyed are expected to show increases in digital marketing, the relative change will vary considerably from country to country. With Sapient's expertise at helping clients take advantage of the intersection of marketing and technology, we are perfectly positioned to be the organization that can help European companies successfully integrate digital campaigns within their marketing mix."

To receive a copy of the full survey, please contact Karen Slack or Alexandra Kedward at

About the Agency of the Future Survey
The Agency of the Future Survey, conducted by Redshift Research in August 2008 and commissioned by Sapient, measured current and future usage of digital marketing activities among 500 companies employing more than 1,000 employees across the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

About Sapient
Sapient, a global services firm, operates two groups-Sapient Interactive and Sapient Consulting-that help clients compete, evolve and grow in an increasingly complex marketplace. Sapient Interactive provides brand and marketing strategy, award-winning creative work, web design and development and emerging media expertise. Sapient Consulting provides business and IT strategy, process and systems design, package implementation and custom development, as well as outsourcing services such as testing, maintenance and support.

Sapient's passion for client success-evidenced by its ability to foster collaboration, drive innovation and solve challenging problems-is the subject of case studies on leadership and organizational behavior used by MBA students at both Harvard and Yale. Leading clients, including BP, Essent Energie, Hilton International, Janus, Sony Electronics and Verizon, rely on the company's unique approach to drive growth and market momentum. Headquartered in Boston, Sapient operates across North America, Europe and India. For more information, please visit