Many CMOs are turning to more frictionless marketing partner models to improve integration and deliver better consumer experiences. A recent COMvergence report for new business in the US shows that integrated agency reviews increased fourfold from 2020 to 2021. And according to Forrester’s research, nearly a third of CMOs at larger organizations intend to integrate creative and media assignments to boost marketing impact. The integration of agency, technology, and consulting services converges the landscape of holding companies, digital networks, and management consultancies. The result evolves the industry from advertising delivered by individual agency brands to marketing solutions delivered by teams of unified specialists. And it’s altering CMO’s expectations of the provider landscape.

The Big Six Expands To The Big 10

Yes, the global marketing services playing field is converging as the providers blend together various combinations of digital experience (DX), data, creative, and media. It’s also widening. The arrival of Stagwell to Madison Avenue with the completion of it MDC merger; the M&A growth of Media.Monks; Droga 5’s creative takeover of Accenture; and Deloitte’s integrating capabilities from the likes of Acne, Heat, and Madras create no shortages of options among service providers. The ultimate advantage is increasing differentiation in approach. CMOs should look for the agencies that best match their strategy and technology needs. In this regard, there is not a single best global marketing provider, but rather a best global marketing provider to suit your brands’ needs.

We detail our evaluation of the top 10 global marketing service providers in the just-published The Forrester Wave™: Global Marketing Services, Q3 2022, which evaluates data, DX, creative, media, integration services, strategy, and market presence.

Agencies Strike Back Against Consultancies

The tables have turned since consultancies sidelined agencies by seizing higher-value technology and marketing transformation projects. Agencies have caught up quickly by combining tech and DX with their creative and media strength. This is most visible in agencies’ technology investments of more than $12 billion since 2016. Meanwhile, consultancies have added creative, content, and marketing services to their technology and consulting expertise, yet their media capabilities are mostly limited to programmatic and digital media operations. Full-service media management plays an important role for integrated marketing by amplifying content and experiences with robust understanding of audience and consumption behavior. In a world where data is the fuel and content the vessel, media is the engine that propels performance. The best global marketing providers integrate all three.

Assembling Integrated Solutions For CMOs Is Easier Pitched Than Done

Beleaguered by the task of managing a multi-agency melee and hungry for connected services, CMOs look to solve the complexity of digital marketing by integrating experience, data, creative, and media. The best global marketing players present connected capabilities, accountable leaders, and customer-centric structures and cultures. Yet some marketing service providers were unwilling to meet this call for integration or to showcase their integrated solutions through our multicapability evaluation. This reticence suggests that CMOs should focus on case studies, references, and ratings rather than an integrated pitch when choosing their global marketing partner.

The Forrester Wave™: Global Marketing Services, Q3 2022 is the last of five reports evaluating the full breadth and integration of agency services in 2022. To help enterprise CMOs understand the evolving integrated marketing services landscape, we have also produced The Forrester Wave™: Global Digital Experience Services, Q2 2022The Forrester Wave™: Consumer Data Strategy And Activation Services, Q2 2022, The Forrester Wave™: Global Media Management Services, Q3 2022, and The Forrester Wave™: Marketing Creative And Content Services, Q3 2022.

Click here to set up a guidance session or advisory with me for agency services. For questions about digital experience services, email; for data strategy and activation services, email; and for media or creative, email