DMS market will return to growth in 2021 as vendors explore new ways to engage audiences

After a major slowdown in 2020, largely due to vendors’ inability to conduct face-to-face workshops and buyers’ hesitation to invest in new proof-of-concept areas, demand for strategy services will gradually rebound. Growth will come from two primary areas. First, buyers will continue to orient any advisory spend toward brand awareness, as creating business value that addresses brand health challenges and/or helps brands integrate digital into offline experiences remains a critical connection, especially as COVID-19 widens the gap between brands and consumers. Second, buyers that are further along the digital transformation maturity continuum will seek guidance to implement customer experience (CX) frameworks enabled by emerging technologies, including AI and machine learning, to optimize their back-office and supply chain operations. Vendors with broad-based relationships across the C-Suite will be positioned to win as long as they can overcome internal politics, particularly around data sharing.

While creative services, like strategy, will face initial headwinds, in the long run it will remain the fastest-growing service line. Marketers will remain true to their core and constantly test new ways to provide personalized, human-centric messaging. While the trend is nascent, we believe creating short documentaries will overtake traditional advertising and marketing campaigns. Connecting human experiences through a short story while incorporating behavioral, professional, purchasing and social data will become a way to generate brand awareness without sounding like a traditional ad.

TBR’s Digital Transformation: Digital Marketing Services Benchmark addresses changes in leading digital transformation vendors’ strategies and performances as well as their investments and go-to-market positions within marketing and advertising segments. The report includes use cases; analysis of agencies’, IT services’ and consultancies’ management of their technology partnerships and acquisitions; and a forward-looking view around key market trends, implications to customers and vendors, vendor performance, and associated technologies enabling digital transformation opportunities. Region-specific market trends are also highlighted in the report.

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