Monday, 11 April 2011

Everything begins and ends in media

I am sitting opposite one of the WPP digital strategists today, holding court (in a GOOD way) with all the agency partners talking about an idea that incorporates communities and social and custom built technology that can fit into the product. Of course he is using words like 'experience' and '360'

Nothing new here, however it got me thinking that most clients buy services from agencies but we are urging ourselves to provide ideas for them. Problem is we don't get paid for the ideas themselves, we get paid for the time we spend thinking about and doing stuff on behalf of them

The traditional advertising agency is now facing competition on all fronts. Look up and you see the marketing consultancies, brand consultancies, media agencies and research firms—all claiming to provide the strategic thinking offered by agencies. Downstairs are media agencies again and production houses, some of which are now getting into the business of concept development.

It's a bad idea to call yourself an 'advertising agency' these days. Advertising is paid for media and agency tends to bring out a feeling that its some sort of short-term contract.

When we talk about 'Partnership' or 'Trusted Advisor' relationships agencies really need to get out of helping these clients create and place messages and get into strengthening the relationship clients brands have with their customers at all points of contact. That's a broader scope and in today's world increasingly has little to do with actual advertising

What is interesting about this thought for me is the unique position media agencies inhabit in both of 'Thinking' (what clients need) and 'Doing' (what clients pay for). It's all very well for a brand consultancy to come up with a 'marketing experience plan' but delivering on that in a consistent fashion is a challenge.

Any organisation that can put itself in the shoes of the customer and drive insights on how they process and use information about brands will be in line for agency of the future status. Those that can them deliver that information in the way those customers want it, without the associated spam will win the race.

Media is pervasive and that thinking begins and ends in media

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