Had the good fortune to speak at Magnet’s Global meeting in St. Andrews on the topic of “Agency of the Future”.
An excellent group of agencies who appear to fully utilize the value of being in a global network. Not only do they seem to get along and enjoy the company of each other, but they also do a lot of collaborating and sharing which benefits the agencies on lots of different levels.
In the presentation I talked about what the agency of the future looks like – on three different levels.
I first tackled it from an Operational standpoint, talking about the things agencies need to be doing in the future to stay relevant – like be a Student of Technology and being a Curator & Contractor.
I next looked at it from more of a philosophical point of view, arguing that agencies need to change their vantage points and alter their thinking about their business and their client’s business, and the consumer. As an example, changing the focus from one of Strategic Planning to that of Adaptive Strategies – or changing the thinking so it’s not just about the articulation of rational benefits, but about creating all-consuming experiences for consumers.
And the last area focused on the professional perspective – from the marketer and what they think the agency of the future looks like.
In our survey that was being conducted at about the same time as this conference, we included a question that asked marketers (and agencies) what they thought the future of the agency looked like…and we received some pretty interesting and to some extent critical examinations of the advertising industry. I support many and refute some based on my broader exposure to the industry at large.
The final perspective I offer up is that while it’s clear that the world we live in is moving quickly and agencies (and marketers) need to change how they think, and operate, and market their businesses and brands, there is a very interesting phenomena happening today that reminds us of a much simpler and more personal time…kind of like being in Scotland.
There once was a day when face-to-face and one-on-one personal communication was the way businesses talked to consumers.
The local shopkeeper had a relationship with his or her customers and new customers came into the fold when they talked with other customers about the great service or selection of a merchant. Feels a bit like St. Andrews, Scotland.
Reality is, it is where we’re going today. Marketing is becoming hyper-personal and all of this change and technology is enabling us to dial back to a simpler time (even though is still more complex in how we get there) where we are talking to individuals and building relationships with them.
So in some respects, the Agency of the Future looks a bit like the agency of the past.
If you’re not already thinking in these terms, you need to start doing it.