The tenure of the agency-client relationship is on the decline. Agencies are awash in an overwhelming amount of data and technology, and clients are calling for greater transparency. At the same time, agencies are being tasked to do more with less, and do it faster.
With all the complexities in the agency world today, wasted time is public enemy number one. Agencies need to eliminate redundant data, bring together disconnected efforts and break down the operational silos that waste time and cost them money. They also need to build relationships with clients founded in trust by better understanding their challenges, industry and customer needs, and by being transparent about their processes and data.
Here are four steps your agency must take to get lean and build a competitive advantage.
Step #1 Break free from legacy behavior
- Are your consumer insights digitally native?
- Do they connect insights from the web and mobile?
- Are you able to immediately move from insight into action?
- How many point solution tools are required?
- How many vendors does it take to change the lightbulb?
Step #2 Engage and empower employees
A survey by LinkedIn and 4A found that 50% of departing agency employees leave because their work wasn’t challenging enough. Unhappy employees won’t stay at your agency long-term, which means you’ll have to onboard new employees and train them on the different platforms and processes, taking even more time away from working with clients.
One major way to keep agency employees happy is to empower people by shifting the agency model. For instance, media planners also become audience strategists; operations managers become optimizers. This approach empowers and engages employees and saves your agency time and resources. An agency can’t be lean in a model where the data and insights work ends with a pdf – that pdf can’t be plugged into media activities or measured. Moreover, if various employees on different teams, from programmatic digital to out-of-home, spend a great deal of time trying to extract data from the many second- and third-party media partners different teams work with, they are duplicating work, wasting time and will likely hit a wall.
User-friendly software like Resonate’s consumer intelligence platform empowers your employees to create rich, nuanced personas that can be used across your teams. This helps you to efficiently deliver high-quality work for your clients, save time and build an agency clients trust. Your employees will feel more engaged and energized because they are no longer bogged down in data and they’ll have the time to envision and build engaging personas and stories that are going to deliver high-quality work for clients.
Step #3 Implement intelligent collaboration
Transparency with your clients is one of the most critical pieces of the agency operation, especially in today’s environment.
With our easy-to-use consumer intelligence platform, you’re able to workshop personas alongside your clients and engage them. This close collaboration deepens the trust that clients have in your insights and strategies.
Once you refine your personas, continue to collaborate by making sure creative and messaging is being developed around these audiences. Upload these audiences and activate media plans directly against them.
Then, measure results of your persona work in real-time. No longer do personas sit in on a shelf. The come to life through engagement and measurement.
Now you’re using insights to integrate your teams and streamline work. You’re able to keep all the teams up to speed on the insights strategy from creative to activation to unite everyone on the team, promote efficiency and strengthen the trust of the agency.
Step #4 Anticipate change
Don’t wait for change to occur; anticipate the shift that’s going to happen around consumers to stay ahead for your client. Being proactive saves you time and energy in the long run.
When clients bucket consumers into generations like baby boomers or millennials, it’s important to validate the generalization and monitor how these segments may change over time. Remember, consumers are human; not all Gen Xers or millennials or boomers are the same.
Humans are always evolving in their preferences, behaviors and a variety of other factors. It’s important for you to deeply understand clients’ audiences online and offline, the core values that they use for decision-making and the motivations that drive behavior. A strategy to deliver pervasive insights to your client not only reinforces your value as a partner but ensures your team is successful. The Resonate platform provides deep, continuously updated consumer insights at the individual level, with relevancy across all verticals. This keeps your agency on the cutting edge.
With agencies facing a variety of challenges, saving time and resources is more necessary than ever. By breaking free from legacy behavior, keeping your employees engaged and happy, implementing collaboration and anticipating inevitable change, you’re sure to have a forward-thinking agency clients trust and value and the results to prove it.
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