In an era of disruptive technologies, changing landscape in the relationship between brands and consumers, a multi-channel environment where customers tend to get information and build trust about the brands or products that they own or want to buy in more new ways than one, most marketing services firms have been left behind in the past. What does it take to build the next generation marketing services companies? Here's a very interesting perspective by Adam Needles and something that I have been writing about in this blog for a couple of years now. Take a look:
What are the key pillars of a next-generation marketing-services agency?
There are five key characteristics that will mark successful marketing agencies in the near future:
Integrated, multi-channel suite of marketing communication capabilities: Marketers must understand the combination of mediums that are most effective for reaching their target customers and brand communities; marketers must also realize this will change over time. This means that marketers need agencies that can execute campaigns across an ever-changing combination of mediums and do so in a coordinated fashion; moreover, it means that recommendations for the �??marketing mix�?? need to be driven by real client/brand needs, not agency agenda.
Balance of strategic capabilities with strong tactical execution: Agencies are often asked to manage scale campaigns while ensuring that they are executed at every point and via every channel with perfect, �??ground-level�?? tactical execution. This means that successful next-generation agencies must have a blend of talent �?? both communication medium experts and business/marketing/brand strategy experts �?? that can make sure the complete spectrum of a client�??s business needs, from the highest level down to the lowest, are fully covered.
End-to-end results measurement and closed-loop client analytics integration: Next generation agencies must be fully integrated with their clients�?? information systems and be able to supply real-time marketing performance measurement data, across mediums, directly into their clients�?? closed-loop analytics platforms. Measurement and analytics also need to be focused.
Sophisticated, underlying technology platform: Whether it is for driving execution management for integrated campaigns or it is for improving measurement and integration with closed-loop analytics platforms, a sophisticated, underlying technology platform is a critical component of next-generation marketing services agencies. In fact, technology infrastructure must be as much a priority as hiring smart people at agencies.
Holistic focus on both brands and brand community: Agencies are in a unique position to help bridge what is often a highly inwardly-looking perspective of marketers and brand managers with the outside world �?? helping to better connect brands with their brand communities.The core objective of any agency�??s set of services is to support the marketing of brands. This means that agencies need to be hyper-focused, as never before, on the impact of their programs on both brand equity and on brand revenue.
Look like the current marketing services firms have a lot to do and rejig, if they want to remain relevant to marketers in the near future. The faster they do it, the more successful they would be.