The new normal is here and some traditional agency models are reeling from the rapid shift. In a lot of ways, there’s never been a better time to be a digital marketing client. But you’ll want to have a good grasp of the trends changing the landscape. Once you’ve got your bearings, think about how you can make the most of an agency partnership in this unpredictable new era.
We’re in a world where 88% of consumers will research a company online before making a purchasing decision. That’s 9 in 10 of us, inextricably tied to the world of digital marketing for all our buying decisions. Consumer expectations are starting to demand excellence from all of us in how we market to and serve our customers. It’s both incredibly exciting, and demanding.
The old way isn’t working
This we know for sure. Agencies have to be more transparent, results-driven and multi-skilled than ever before. Clients don’t care about your pitch or portfolio. They care about results.
The catch is that a lot of the old guard is still playing catch up or patching together interim solutions such as dodgy AI or out-of-date SEO strategies.
At the same time, Agile has claimed total dominance of how we work. For clients who might be new to this way of working, the learning curve can be steep, but it doesn’t have to be painful.
Data now dominates
At alphawhale, one of our key values is “Data meets daring”; a 3-word summation of where we choose to place our attention in order to help clients grow. But this focus on data isn’t shared by all agencies. At least, not yet.
Data-driven marketing can be any marketing activity (likely digital) built on insights pulled from big data. This might be in the form of customer engagements like web traffic – through to more complex analytics.
Leading agencies are true advocates for data and interweave this with every creative, design or marketing activity. To be successful, they need to be savvy with automation and integration tools that can keep things streamlined and effective.
Bigger isn’t always better
Big growth doesn’t depend on your agency’s headcount or cost. That’s the upside of a more democratic digital agency landscape. Curious clients who’ve been willing to do things differently have uncovered great value from working with up and coming agencies or well-connected consultants.
Rather than making a decision based on the perceived size or reputation of an agency, the new era will see a return to trusted word of mouth referrals and the freedom to work with smaller teams.
Mega management consultancies
In stark contrast to the promulgation of new mini consultancies and micro agencies, the big guys continue to get bigger. The past decade has seen a major global trend of top-of-town consultancies acquiring smaller agencies and melding the consultancy model with the agency model.
You only need to look at the example of Deloitte and Accenture’s $1.8 billion investment in smaller agencies as an example of this aggressive expansion.
There are of course, pros and cons of this trend on the client side. Access to broader expertise and analytical precision is always a good thing.
Putting your digital goals in the hands of big data, tech specialists, analytics and marketing professionals under the one roof can be a suitable option for a large organisation. But if it comes at the expense of creativity and ambition is that a trade-off we’re willing to make?
Collaboration makes the dream work
Collaborating with our pod clients is a core part of how we work. It’s not just about asking for feedback. True collaboration is an art and a science, continuously evolving to meet the challenges of each new project.
For collaborative success, there are 5 things we aim to master:
- Getting everyone on the same page with goals
- Having a central repository of data
- Establishing clear ways of working
- Being consistent with communication
We know that 57% of projects fail due to a communication breakdown. That’s not ok with us. Keeping collaboration on the agenda helps us stay humble and results-focused in everything we do. This is the way forward through a volatile digital marketing future.
The future of digital marketing is looking radically different and that’s a good thing. Make sure you know your options in a rapidly shifting marketplace and find an agency partner you can trust.
Need a friendly navigation partner? Finding one you can trust takes time, but it starts with a conversation. To have a conversation about your growth goals, get in touch on 1300 049 130 or shoot your questions through to us here.