Peter Kim of Forrester has written a thought-provoking article on the future of the advertising agency. The report argues that consumers now rely less and less on marketing messages when in buying mode. Instead they seek guidance from family, friends and others in their respective communities to guide them toward purchase decisions.
Peter's views via AdWeek
(Agencies are) "in "a world of hurt" because consumers are tuning out the messages the industry is predicated on producing. Instead, it believes shops need to be organized around communities, not disciplines. What it is calling "the connected agency" would not only know certain communities but also be active members of these groups. Pushing messages would give way to encouraging voluntary engagement, and ongoing conversations would replace time-based campaigns".
As communities & conversations become more and more important, there is a need to understand how to build analytical models around huge "conversational databases" that will emerge. The ability to mine data and conversations together, will become a huge competitive advantage for service providers. The ones who will succeed are the ones who will be able to overlay the traditional transactional data with conversational data. This is a skill that needs to be built and nurtured if brands and service providers have to succeed in the future.