A study shows marketing decision makers expect ad agencies to be well versed in both sides of ad strategy, and many want smart strategies across multiple ad platforms.

Digital-only ad houses are diminishing in favor, according to a survey of various-sized businesses by ad company business development group RSW/US. Only one-quarter of marketing decision-makers use digital-only shops - most are likely to use a full-service ad agency, rather than one that is exclusively focused on digital, social or SEO. Of the various sizes and types of companies represented, over half indicated their primary ad agency was full-service.

While the general state of the advertising agency and marketing client relationship usually leaves room for new prospect opportunity, this study found some general trends that sometimes seem conflicting, but generally favor the diversification of ad agency skills, while marketing clients want to consolidate their multiple agency relationships.

In regards to diversification, half of marketers expect that full service firms will win more digital assignments in the future. This indicates that digital agencies need to offer traditional services - 67 percent of companies believe this is necessary for agencies to maintain relevancy. As RSW/US explains, digital firms need to build traditional for the long term, while full service agencies must improve their digital skills - only eighteen percent of marketers believe that full service is keeping up.

This is despite shifting marketing spending budget from traditional to digital in the past three years - over half have shifted more than thirty percent of spending this way. But growth may be limited - the shift in budget is smaller than last year. This and other signs point to integrated marketing programs being seen as a smarter way to spend on advertising, with coordinated campaigns across platforms.

By Ivory King