The Future Of Agencies: Can Creativity And Data Go Together?Reading Time: 3 minutes
Technology, data, consumer demands, talent, financial pressures—the needs of marketers are changing rapidly. So the question is, what does the future of agencies look like?
Agency data and technology inclinations are taking center stage as every marketer feels the performance pressure for their marketing and media investments. Agencies are speculating heavily on data and modeling audience activation platforms to achieve growth, efficiency, and scale. While these moves are paying off in media, the promise of data-driven creativity is not yet a reality.
Industry experts have started talking about the crisis in creativity in the world of advertising. The effects of advertising have become ordinary in recent times. As a result, industry bodies and agencies have to think of a new way forward. However, this is not happening because there is a lack of brilliant and creative people in agencies. Instead, it is because of the rising difficultly their creativity has to encounter when trying to get traction and make it into campaigns that see the light of day.
While there is no way to predict the future, experts believe that agencies will have to meet a number of incoming trends and challenges. Be it figuring out data and fighting for top talent or keeping up with consultancies. There has to be a willingness for the agency of the future to be more adaptive and reflective of their clients’ needs. And only the ones who can adapt will survive the change.
Data Rules Everything
We are living in the age of the customers. We observe what the customers are doing and then translate it into brands. Customer data will keep transforming marketing, which is why brands will need data strategy and the right technology to allow them to analyze data. And that is where agencies come into the picture.
Many agencies that are more traditional do not depend on data since they are focused on creativity. However, this will not work anymore and needs to change. The future will be about joining creativity with data, which means agencies will have to ensure they have a team on board that can scrutinize data in creative ways.
The global brand strategies and creative that agencies deliver for clients will have to become stronger than ever. Transactional skills, like programmatic, SEM and SEO, and simple data gathering, can shift in-house smoothly to give marketers more control and encourage proficiency. This means that agencies will have to work hard to recruit talent.
However, marketers are typically associated with paying better and seen as more modern and savvy. Many creatives who jumped ship for the likes of Google or Apple have also felt that they were selling ideas more than creating things at their agencies. Once marketers can bring in the commoditized stuff, agencies can go back to producing big ideas. After all, marketers want that big thinking and they are willing to pay for it.
Size Will Matter
At a time when quite a few brands keep decreasing fees and cutting back on agency rosters, it doesn’t always seem like they are willing to pay. In fact, clients no longer want to pay for unnecessary overhead or talent they don’t need. This has helped smaller, independent agencies as well as freelancers. Mainly because smaller shops have cut out a lot of the portion that clients do not wish to pay for. Moreover, they can make their own decisions since they are not obligated to a parent company.
Larger agencies, on the other hand, are trying to keep costs down for clients by going through mergers. Experts believe that eventually the niche agencies will fade out and the shops that can do nearly everything under one roof will succeed.
Get Used To Consultancies
Consulting firms will play a big role in advertising in the future. They may not have figured out the creative execution part of advertising for clients yet, but they have already built consulting relationships with marketers. With the data and compatibility in place, it is only a matter of time before consultancies decode the branding and creative aspects.
Agencies should not try entering the consulting space. It will not be a wise decision because agencies will lose their differentiation trying to provide other services. And it is always better to do a few things best than lots of things averagely.
Creativity Is The Future Of Agencies
For an industry that prides itself on creativity and innovation, advertising is not always excellent at predicting the future. But the bottom line is that there is no single, particularly “correct” model. This is because marketers’ challenges as well as the technology landscape will keep evolving. However, given the current status of the industry, creative excellence is definitely the foundation for agencies of the future.