Forbes has ranked the top 25 marketing services firms based on their revenues. The analysis compares public company filings with SEC data, annual reports, and press releases. The resulting ranking organizes these firms into three distinct categories: digital marketing, marketing management, and traditional marketing.
This year, digital marketing firms earned $11.9 billion in 2019. This is a 14% increase compared to 2018 and ranks it as the 4th largest market segment.
What are the biggest challenges that digital marketing firms are facing? Of the top 25 marketing services firms, 16% cite increased complexity, 12% cite decreased client volume, and 8% cite the fast pace of technology as a challenge.
Marketing management services earned $7.9 billion in 2019, a 14% increase compared to 2018. This segment accounted for 36% of the total revenue of the top 25 marketing services firms in 2020.
The biggest challenge for marketing management firms is likely the same as that faced by digital marketing firms – the increasing complexity of the services they provide.
Although marketing management is a broad segment that covers a variety of functions, such as analytics, branding, and social media marketing, it is important to note that the majority of firms in this space are consultancies. That is, they provide specialized advisory services.
Traditional marketing services earned $6.2 billion in 2019, a 4% decline compared to 2018. This year, we are seeing more marketing organizations adopting digital marketing methods, resulting in fewer clients for traditional firms. However, even in this scenario, most notably insurance companies, brand manufacturers, and retail brands, still depend on traditional marketing methods to a large extent.
The biggest challenge facing traditional marketing firms is the increasing demand for specialized services. As marketing methods evolve and become more digital, traditional marketing firms may struggle to grow their business, since they do not offer specialized digital marketing services.
What will be the next big thing in marketing? Evidently, it’s all about digital marketing and marketing consulting. It’s all about analytics, it’s all about automation, it’s all about conversational marketing, and it’s all about personalization. These are the five main pillars of digital marketing. But more importantly, these are the five methods that can boost your bottom line.
If you want to prepare for the future of marketing, study the past. In particular, look at the top three companies in each segment.