What do you think is killing agencies in 2016?
The traditional ad agency model is fading. Today agencies must integrate brand strategy, demand generation, and marketing technology into one cohesive unit.
After surveying over 100 advertising/ marketing agencies, I was astonished to see how few actually had a social media department internally, and how even fewer didn’t know how to do social media for their clients. I heard a lot of old school marketers telling me they understood it was important but they didn’t see the value in it. Furthermore, they themselves were not in tune with social media channels. How can you understand something you aren’t using, or even interested in learning about?
More and more large agencies will see clients leaving them, or smaller businesses taking up a share of their client’s pie. Digital agencies will start growing and becoming the go to agencies of the future. Social Media is timely in information, engagement and customer service. It is requires flexibility, adaptability and instantaneous call to action, as opposed to traditional forms of media that take weeks, even months to conceive and execute. A good example is Cossette in Montreal who used to only accept clients over 1 million in sales, today it accepts deals as small as $25,000 and often subcontracts them out to digital specialists.
Times are changing and agencies need to adapt to these changes either by becoming socially savvy. This can be done by integrating social media as part of their media buy for their clients, either through hiring their own internal social media team or outsourcing to a specialty agency. Either way they need to make it an integral part of their offer.
As for business owner they too have to come to the realization that social media is here to stay. I often hear things like “I hate Facebook” or “social media is a waste of my time, I don’t have or go on my accounts often”. Well the fact of the matter is that these people don’t know what they are missing out on, especially if they run a business sell a brand or sell their services. For those who aren’t social media fans all I have to say is get over it and get with it.
Now don’t get me wrong, a person or brand does not need to be on every platform and monitor is daily if they are not selling anything, however if you are, then yes it is an investment in time, money and effort to get results. Social media takes time before yielding ROI because it is a format that requires you to build a community first, engagement second and sales results last.
“ Transparency undermines the traditional agency model. So do the new revenue models of digital marketing. The researchers found a “relationship breakdown” between agencies and clients, who feel that agencies no longer understand their business, their Millennial customers, and the nuances of digital engagement. As one interviewee put it, It is now all about creating engaging experiences, most agencies seem to have missed this shift, still thinking it is about communications.” Read MarketingProfs for more details on this shift.
It is time that agencies absorb the lessonss learned from smaller independent digital agencies and grow in three distinct areas to create a cohesive unit:
- Brand strategy
- Demand generation
- Marketing technology
The future for marketers and agencies is to merge offline and digital. They will be able to keep offline marketing relevant in the digital age by using augmented reality to create interactive print, add measurability to campaigns, and drive customers to point of sale. A great example of online and offline marketing is accomplished by one of our Canadian companies Lightspeed Retail, check them out!
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