The role agencies play for brands is changing. The disruption that is coming will require agencies to completely rethink how they approach servicing clients, how they structure their teams, and the services they offer clients. Further, it will require brands to take a hard look at their agencies to determine if they are able to meet their growing demands.
Agencies have long been though of as the thought leaders who are able to drive marketing innovation, however the rise of new marketing approaches include social media, mobile, and content marketing are forcing agencies to take a hard look at how they can fulfill the demands of their clients while keeping pace with technology that is literally changing and evolving right in front of us.
The following trends are set to turn the agency model on its head:
Brands are starting to realize that a siloed approach to marketing channels isn’t going to deliver maximum results. The agency that used to come in and pitch a great idea for a public relations only campaign will be met with intense levels of scrutiny. Instead, agencies will need to consider how an integrated approach to all of the available marketing channels will help clients reach their goals. This will require brands to more fully integrate with their clients’ marketing teams so they understand the big picture.
Campaign-based Marketing Will Evolve into Story Telling
The idea of a marketing plan of running campaign after campaign is becoming passé. Instead, brands want long-term strategies that focus on story-telling not a catchy one month campaign. Agencies will need to consider a theme-based approach to story telling that helps to humanize brands and keeps them in the minds of their target audiences. This will lead to layered story based campaigns that are designed to tell a larger story, one consumable bite at a time.
Generalists Will Be More Important than Ever
Agency teams have been focused around combining a team of specialists aligned to a client’s needs. Hiring has been done based on what “specialty” someone brings to the table. However, with the need for an integrated approach that combines story telling brands will need to hire more generalists who understand how all of the marketing channels fit together to serve the greater goal. Generalists should be responsible for adding perspective and depth beyond a specific marketing tactic and pulling specialists together to show them how their efforts combine to create a snowballing impact for the client.
New Service Offerings will Emerge
Agencies will be asked to take a larger role in content marketing including producing content for clients. They will also be asked to fully understand how mobile impacts their clients. The client’s website and the content they produce are critical elements for agency and client success. You may see agencies adding content teams, user experience designers, responsive-design developers and mobile developers.
Ultimately, these changes will help push agencies forward. There’s only one question. Is your agency ready?