Welcome to the Agency of the Future. Question 4 of 100:”Will customers have access to information about a company’s products and services in real time, regardless of channel?”

Question 4 of 100: Will customers have access to information about a company’s products and services in real time, regardless of channel?
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I am starting to really enjoy these discussions about the agency of the future. One particular topic has started to concern me. There seem to be quite a lot of strong opinions about the ability to change within our industry. One group sees us as “captains that stoically follow the ship into the deep”, whereas another believes that the advertising industry has an “improvise-adapt-overcome” attitude. Whatever, we are going to talk more about this later in this series. Now, going back to today’s question.

82 percent of CMO´s agree strongly or very strongly that customers want to have information about a company’s products and services in real time, regardless of channel.

This is one of the questions that has generated most consensus. That’s what makes it so important. We all recognise the needs of the mobile consumer: on the move, searching round the clock for information, wanting it from anywhere and everywhere. Via a second screen in front of the TV, via a smartphone in the supermarket or integrated into the refrigerator at home.

I think we need to agree that this is fact and this is what we need to focus on?

Important thing is what  we need to do, when it comes to adapting to these new demands? How should agencies and marketing departments reorganize and approach this new marketing? This new marketing that is no longer reliant on campaigns or the campaign mindset?

We are too slow.

It is clear that we need to find new organizational forms. We have to realize that we are too slow. Too slow at understanding consumers’ needs and clients’ problems; too slow at communicating with the customer. So it’s only logical that marketing managers prefer to work from their own departments, where with social media they can generate lightening-speed dialogue between brands and consumers.

Marketing organizations have always run the risk of producing nonsense, when the complexity of a system creates its own version of Chinese Whispers.

Consumer > Client > Planner > Project manager > Creative > Producer

In the worst cases, you can enter whatever need you like into one end of the chain and from the other end you’ll get a solution that is, not only a million miles from the need, but one that also took an eternity to pass through the system. This is not all the fault of agencies. Some of the blame also lies with clients’ reluctance to pay to achieve understanding of the problem. Their reluctance to pay for creativity. But this could easily be changed by introducing new pricing models.

We are too short sighted.

At the same time, we are also much too shortsighted. Too impatient to invest the time needed to create customer experiences built on investment, technology, innovation and a long-term approach. We are beginning to understand that CMOs have a real and significant need for a new way of developing products and services, one that hinges on communication. This will lead to a new type of agency, I can assure you.

We lack the right skills.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is to find the right blend of competence that can mix communication, professionalism, customer value and technology into a successful cocktail. Lots of today’s agencies and marketing departments lack the skills and competence to address the new marketing. The new competence is not exactly easy to find either.

Yes, there’s a lot to do. But I like a challenge.

Important follow-up questions: Have today’s marketing and advertising colleges and universities managed to adapt to the new marketing? Is a new generation of advertising professionals ready to tackle the new marketing about to graduate?

We need to find out. And then to start dealing with it. Any volunteers?

 

Question 5 of 100: Will brands continue to be one of a business’s most important assets? Let’s look at that next time.

 

 

HOW TO TAKE APART THE GORDIAN KNOT

Welcome to the blog about The Agency of The Future.

According to the legend, there were in the city of Gordion’s temple a knot sitting on an oxcart and was so complicated that no one was able to solve it. Anyone who managed to untie the knot would become the master of Asia. Alexander the Great was enticed to try but failed. He became so angry that he drew his sword and cut the knot in half and realized at that moment that the problem was solved.

Buying ads,  that sells more products, makes a bigger profit with which you can buy more ads. Those were the days…What marketing needs is a different way of thinking and the energy to turn the game around. Our mission is to create the agency of the future, today.

We work in the  age of the customer. The customer is in power. The social web gives the customer access to perfect information about you and your company. Marketing is shifting from a traditional campaign-centric view of the world to one of continuous customer engagement. The new marketing model is about co-creation, service-dominant logic, ROI-driven, trust, likeability, and tangible results that you can take to the bank. We, the marketers have had no problems if traditional marketing was profitable and created growth. But the reality is different. Who would have ever dreamed that supremacy of network television would ever be challenged? All printed media are fighting for their survival, social media does not deliver and most large brands ignore the potential in their own channels. Everybody can do this analysis. The interesting part is what do to do.

We know that we don´t have  the answers but we do have a curiosity and a relentless strive to co-create a new marketing practice with our customers, your customers and our competitors.
According to legend, there were in the city of Gordion’s temple a knot sitting on an oxcart and was so complicated that no one was able to solve it. Anyone who managed to untie the knot would become the master of Asia. Alexander the Great was enticed to try but failed. He became so angry that he drew his sword and cut  the knot in half and realized at that moment that the problem was solved.

Welcome, Christer Soelberg, CEO