Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

Top 10 List For The Agency Of The Future

First a shout-out to Brandie for finding this great write up from Sapient about what marketers want out of their agencies in the future.  Brandie always offers up raw, honest, and opinionated feedback.  Her commentary on the article is fantastic and worth a read, especially if you are on the agency side.

According to the article, Sapient, “…recently sponsored a national online digital marketing and interactive advertising survey to gain insight into what marketers want from their advertising and marketing agencies in the next 12 months. The survey polled more than 200 chief marketing officers (CMOs) and senior marketing professionals, all of whom are either directly or indirectly responsible for managing digital marketing budget allocation across multiple channels.”

Personally, I would have preferred it if they spoke with junior marketers as well. Remember it’s the junior marketers that are on the cutting edge of technology. That said, the write up is very telling of how agencies can position themselves for future success.

There were 4 items on the list that really stuck out to me:

  • Greater knowledge of the digital space – This isn’t a surprise, but it’s 100% fundamental. If you aren’t on top of the digital space you’re losing the battle before even going to war. Get the right people in place to make sure your overall digital knowledge pool is deep and wide. Understand the basics, but also know what’s on the horizon.
  • Agency executives using the technology they are recommending – AMEN. Don’t tell a client to be on Facebook if you aren’t on Facebook. I don’t care if you think twitter is stupid (which I did for a while), you need to be on it. You need to understand it and why it could work for something. It’s all about credibility. How can you recommend X when you aren’t even doing X. For example, every agency should have a blog or participate in one. How can you be a PR agency talking about blogger relations when you don’t have a blog that’s engaging your clients? These are all questions clients will ask or are thinking.
  • Chief Digital Officers make agencies more appealing – This really surprised me. I continue to hear the need for integration. When you integrate “traditional” and “digital” departments, philosophies, etc. one of things that becomes less important is the seemingly figurehead role of Chief Digital Officer? Chiefs sit on top of divisions. Divisions by nature are segmented and separate from other divisions. Thus, having a Chief Digital Officer works against integration, doesn’t it? Seriously, this is a real question. Does it? I can understand the need to have a face for digital at the agency. But, I’d argue having 10 people who are really savvy and no CDO is better than 1 CDO and 2 people who are savvy. That’s just the economics of the situation.
  • Ability to measure success – Another non-shocker, but again this is fundamental. Everyone wants to measure everything. The web is the most measurable thing in the world. I get it. But, let me temper that by saying, while you can measure everything you should only focus on and report on the things that are actionable. I can measure the number of people coming to my site from Brazil. If I’m not going to do anything with that data, the metric is a waste of effort. Please, agencies and client, agree on what you’ll measure, how you’ll measure it, how often you’ll report, and what you’ll do to course correct.

This was a lot of fun. Thanks again to Brandie for finding the Sapient article and sharing it on her blog. As always, let’s hear what you have to say.