Raahil’s blog: Some good news and bad news for agencies?

According to R3, there were 65% more client reviews in 2021 with several of them moving to project-based models. What does this mean for brands and agencies?

Feb 02, 2022 02:46:00 AM | Article | Raahil Chopra

According to R3, the number of global pitches has increased revenue by 53% in 2021, thanks to reviews by major global spenders like Coca-Cola, Mercedes and Unilever.
In India, that number was almost double for creative agencies (103.7%) and even more staggering for media agencies, whose reviews were at 231.1%. In absolute numbers, this reflects INR 691.7 crore (was 339.6 last year) worth of new business won by creative agencies and INR 540.7 crore (was 163.3 in 2021) won by media agencies.
So, that’s the good news for agency folk. Brands are looking to spend to acquire their services as they go about brand building.
Now, we come to the bad news, which may not necessarily be bad news for the newer, smaller agencies that are looking to work on different models.
Clients are now looking at more project-based assignments. One would argue that this isn’t new and that clients hiring agencies for projects has been happening for the last few years.
In the December 2021 New Business League update, there were at least 19 pitches for project-based assignments. As far as our memory serves us, we haven’t seen any month with so many projects assigned. Across industry events and chats with the marketing heads, we have heard this plenty of times – ‘brand building doesn’t happen overnight and one needs to be consistent with the messaging over time, to achieve best results'.
The project pitches reported in December 2021 include traditional big spenders like Coca-Cola, Horlicks and Ikea, along with the likes of HealthifyMe, Vedanta, and Sequoia Capital among others.
So, would consistency be achieved with clients looking to hire different agencies for different projects? We understand that some brands wouldn’t be willing to (or afford) retainers, but would they be able to achieve the desired brand growth?
That’s the question I'd like to put across for the experts.