The Agency Of The Future Needs To Be More Like An Olympic Rowing Team, Than A Relay Team…
21/10/2022 | Article
The world has changed a lot in the twenty years since we founded Cadastra. When we began our journey, we needed to convince clients and prospects as to why they needed to invest in digital as a channel.
We don’t need to convince anyone anymore.
Our conversations with brands are no longer focused on the why. What matters now is the when and how.
“What agencies and providers do I need? What functions can we perform in-house? How does our agency blend and share knowledge with in-house teams? How do we deliver excellence without leaving gaps?”
Everybody knows the value of digital. But not everybody knows how to effectively execute a digital strategy. Some businesses will use five separate agencies, some will only use one. Some will have internal teams and others will need to outsource everything.
We believe there are six stages of digital maturity: nascent, present, active, engaged, competitive, and mature. And, brands require a slightly different approach depending on where they are on their journey.
When investing in a programme to build, optimise or transform operations brands have access to a wide range of specialist digital expertise. And, whether the solution is agencies, in-house teams or both, there are always challenges around interoperability, integration, and processes.
Exacerbating these challenges further is the high rate of staff turnover within digital marketing roles. There is a huge amount of competition for talent – and consequently digital specialists are in high demand, bouncing around the industry from one firm to the next. Businesses need to ensure that valuable knowledge doesn’t get lost amidst the turnover. It is critical to deliver long term results, even with short term players.
“It is critical to deliver long term results, even with short term players.”
Lack of integration is dangerous for the long term health of a brand. Without the right structures and processes in place, agency partners can add to a workload, rather than lighten it. Data is always the first casualty of siloed marketing set-ups. Having too little data is dangerous – but so is having so much data you can’t make sense of it. Or trust it!
“Having too little data is dangerous – but so is having so much data you can’t make sense of it. Or trust it!”
The current marketing agency model is something like a relay race. A brief is passed from strategy, to planning, to creative, to media. Evolving as it passses through each leg. Each player is highly skilled at their own section, but one mistake or one poor handover and the race is lost.
There is too much at stake for the race to be run by individuals working in silo. A better solution would be having everyone in the same boat all at once, rowing in the same direction together.
The agency of the future needs to take on the strategy role and lead the in-house talent, external partners, and platforms to create effective, multidisciplinary squads. These teams will share a collective understanding of the problems they are trying to solve – as opposed to ticking boxes within their silo and passing the baton onto someone else. Agencies and brands will need to think outside of the box to create stronger, longer term partnerships which allow them to evolve at pace with consumers, and ahead of competitors.
“Agencies and brands will need to think outside of the box to create stronger, longer term partnerships which allow them to evolve at pace with consumers – and ahead of competitors.”
We are entering a new economic era where business challenges evolve at the speed of culture, and siloed marketing teams with equally siloed agency partners will never be able to keep pace. Digital expertise is only effective when it moves in synchronicity with every other part of the business, and meets consumer trends.
Twenty years ago, we knew that the future would be digital. Now it influences every aspect of our daily lives.
There is no longer an if, only a question of how. Some will row alone. But we will row together.