Industry Survey Reveals Nearly 40 Percent of Creative Agencies Are Losing Business Due to Lack of Proper Collaboration Tools

The siloed days of the “Mad Men” agency model are a thing of the past as proven in an industry study titled “The State of Agency-Client Collaboration in 2012.”

More than 570 marketers, agency executives and staff responded to the survey, which was released today by Central Desktop, a leading cloud-based collaboration platform company. The goal of the survey is three-fold: examine the biggest challenges facing agencies and clients in working together, discover the level of importance agencies and brands place on collaboration tools, and gain insight into the perceived benefits of collaboration technologies in internal operations and as part of the agency-client relationship.

“As the agency grew, it became important for us to proactively improve productivity and collaboration in our delivery workflows – from internal creative development to working with clients on approvals to keeping projects on track and everything in between,” said Raj Choudhury, managing director and EVP operations at full-service marketing agency Engauge. “Implementing SocialBridge for Agencies moved us from almost seven different tools with seven different logins to a single platform with one login. Improving the way we communicate and work together is crucial to the success of an agency-brand relationship and to our ability to streamline internal project management. Agencies that will survive in the new competitive market already know this.”

Agencies are Getting the Collaboration Picture Loud and Clear from Clients

Engauge’s testimonial speaks volumes for many, with the main agency takeaways from the survey revealing the following:

  • An astounding 41 percent of agencies have had a client or prospect require them to have a collaboration system to keep or win a major account.
  • More than half (54 percent) consider it very or extremely beneficial if the various collaboration tools they use are housed in one platform with one login.
  • The top three benefits experienced since implementing existing collaboration tools include improved project management processes (50 percent), faster project completion (42 percent) and improved client service and satisfaction (40 percent).

Increased Collaboration is What Brands Want in an Agency

Those on the internal marketing side seemed to reinforce the agency responses in the survey, revealing the following:

  • Almost 40 percent of brands have not awarded business to an agency for lack of adequate tools for managing work and communications on the account.
  • Seventy-one percent consider it a competitive differentiator over other agencies if an agency has a single collaboration system to manage project work online.
  • More than half of brands surveyed consider it “very or extremely important” that an agency have an online collaboration system to work on projects and campaigns with them, with almost 25 percent having required an agency to have a collaboration system for keeping or winning an account and another 23 percent asking but not requiring an agency to have a system.
  • The top three benefits on the brand side experienced since implementing existing collaboration tools are: improved project management processes (60 percent), faster project completion (53 percent) and decreased time spent reporting and providing progress reports (44 percent).

“The results of this study are not surprising,” said Martin Schneider, research manager with industry analysis firm 451 Research. “The impact of social media, cloud-based platforms and the demographics of the modern worker have significantly altered today’s workplace. Employees, but more importantly customers, are demanding simple yet effective collaborative environments to better share data and be more productive in their roles. The added bonus: engaged workers and customers are more loyal and more profitable to businesses offering these modern, collaborative platforms on which to conduct business.”

“These survey numbers really back what we see every day in dealing with both agency and brand clients,” said Isaac Garcia, co-founder and CEO of Central Desktop. “It never fails to shock me when I walk into an agency and see people still passing back proofs for approval on paper like Peggy does on Mad Men. Agencies know they need a better solution – the brands are telling them and, in some cases, demanding it – but often times they don’t know what’s available, cobble together a solution or use a number of single-purpose tools. Our goal in creating SocialBridge is to address these very real business challenges.”

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About Central Desktop

Central Desktop helps people work together in ways they never imagined possible. Our SocialBridge online collaboration platform connects people and information in the cloud, making it possible to share files, combine knowledge, inspire ideas, manage projects and more. Central Desktop serves more than half a million users worldwide. Key Central Desktop customers include CBS, Harvard University, the Humane Society of the United States, Netflix, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SK+G Advertising, Rhea + Kaiser, Upshot, WD-40 and Workday. Founded in 2005, Central Desktop is a privately-held company with headquarters in Pasadena, California. For more information, visit

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Intersect Communications for Central Desktop
Michelle Van Jura, 646-781-9323
[email protected]