As every agency knows, the ability to compete depends not just on people and offering superiority but on understanding brands' needs and future direction.
As the marketplace continues to develop and expand, brands' expectations are changing.
Agencies need to adapt in order to meet the needs of these brands.
Loyalty is built over time and relates closely to trust. Brands need to trust you, as an agency that delivers value.
What is your marketing agency all about? Some agencies will say they are all about:
Multidimensional interactions rests at the heart of every successful agency.
Learning how to craft multidimensional interactions while retaining your agency culture is paramount to that success. However, you need be skilled at a lot of different types of got-to-market marketing strategies. You can try to do a little bit of everything - media planning to social media, programatic to PR, email to mobile marketing - but it sometimes comes at the cost of never having the time to master one particular offering.
Master of everything, expert of nothing.
Most brands don't see any major value difference between agencies positioning, products, people, etc. By becoming marketing disruptor, you need to go beyond just adding marketing services but think about what are currently offering to your prospects and existing clients', as an integrated solution. And break new ground where there is no ground.
Currently, most agencies offerings, products, cost and service are basically the same and that leaves new business selling on rapport (i.e. great client case studies), existing relationships (i.e. strong partnership with key marketplace players) or differentiator skills (i.e. industry recognised "data gurus" or "mobile experts"). There is the requirement for a new agency go-to-market strategy.
What was once highly effective may now hold your agency back, which means your go-to-market strategy needs to be realigned to offer superior value added services.
You should aim at integrating all current and future services / products into one model.
Drive Integrated Marketing Agility
Realigning is a tricky business for any marketing agency, and yet in many cases change is inevitable if agencies want to grow and make the most of current opportunities.
This new direction can breathe new life into your agency, but it has to be done with a focus on strategy thinking and planning, a clearly understood process, innovative vision, engaged workforce, focus on accountability, flexibility capability framework and most of all for the right reasons.
What can an agency do to make it stand out from the crowd?
Offer brands additional services and products they cannot get from other agencies in town – services and products that are aligned with market and more importantly your brands' expectations. Choosing what kind of value your agency will create and sticking to that, it is critical.
Strive to be the best by offering agency creator and executional value.
However, value-creating agencies attract fast-followers as quickly they attract brands. As your competitors adapt to your new direction, they will also realigned and create price pressures that can reduce the value that you aim to create.
Your agency must think through what complementary assets, capabilities, products or services could prevent brands from defecting to rival agencies and keep your position strong.
The best way to protect your new direction in the marketplace and fast-followers is to continue to invest in optimum positioning - your agency to be recognised as the creator and optimiser. You need to stay in tune with changing business environments and continually reestablish competitive advantage.
Create a capacity to offer superior services supported by forward looking thinking.
Here are 7 questions to build rock solid relationships with your brands for exponential growth.
The key to success is building strong and positive relationships that go beyond one-off projects and provide value to brands on a consistent, ongoing basis...
Successful agencies don't seek to avoid change and disruption. They know that great change will happen, and prepare themselves to greet it before it arrives. They are ready for change.
Are you ready?
Ivan Fernandes, Founder and Managing Director at Digital Business Partners