2022 paints a different picture for ad agency new business, with decreases in organic growth and new business opportunities, and increased difficulty in breaking through to prospects

CINCINNATI, Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — RSW/US, the nation’s leading outsourced business development firm for marketing agencies, just completed its annual RSW/US 2022 Agency New Business Report.

The previous two years, this RSW survey and resulting report saw many small and mid-sized agencies growing or regaining lost growth from the previous year. This year finds agencies with a more challenging landscape. For example, agencies report organic growth fell by 11% in 2022 as an effective way to generate ad agency new business. Also, only 32% of agencies said the number of opportunities for new business increased in 2022, versus 51% in 2021.

Another indicator of a more challenging new business landscape: in 2021, only 28% of agencies said obtaining new business (compared to the previous year) was harder or a lot harder. In 2022, it’s risen to 43%.

A telltale sign, and a source of the difficulty in driving new business this year: agencies are not investing in the development of “new” new business.

This plays out in the low percentages (all under 15%) attributed to phone calls, social media, inbound, and traditional mailings.

A few other key stats that explain this increased difficulty and exemplify the lack of a strategic plan around “new” new business:

  • 55% of agencies say it’s harder to break through to prospects compared to last year.
  • Agencies reporting their last new business hire was very to somewhat successful dropped from 60% in 2021 to 41% in 2022. 
  • In 2021, hiring for the new business director position at an agency fell to its lowest level since 2010, with just 32% of agencies hiring a new business director in the past 3 years. In 2022, the number is, once again, at 32%.

The growth so many firms had in 2021 and 2022 should be celebrated, but change is a constant in our industry, and existing growth looks to be slowing. It’s critical heading into 2023 that agencies have a manageable framework for “new” new business.

About RSW/US

RSW/US is the nation’s leading outsourced business development group that helps marketing agencies find meaningful new business opportunities and get them closer to close. To learn more visit www.rswus.com or call Lee McKnight Jr. at 513-559-3111.

Contact: Lee McKnight Jr. 

Phone: 513-559-3111

Email: lee@rswus.com

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