The IMI Blog
The 'Brand-Agency' relationships are no longer as simple as they used to be. Brands working with agencies that deliver creative work see the agency as a natural extension of their marketing teams. Brands need their agencies to work collaboratively, and provide not just creative, but also concepts that add value to their brand, business goals and investment. A survey conducted by Marketing Week shows that 52% of marketers are fairly happy with the service they receive from agency partners but only 8%, which is fewer than one in 10, state that they are ‘very satisfied’*. So, how can an agency become a partner of choice that offers value to brands?
It is not just about tactics, strategy is key. Let’s draw some parallels from the ‘Output vs. Outcome’ debate, where tactics are your output and strategy is your outcome. Tactics, like output, are activities you execute to reach out to your customers. For example, content marketing tactics like blogging, social media updates, videos: The ‘What’. These tactics are extremely valuable and form the basic blocks of your overall strategy. But the trouble arises when you measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts strictly based only on these outputs or tactics. Strategy on the other hand, like outcome, is a focused goal that relates to business objectives. So basically, ‘outcomes’ are the results of hard work expended through your outputs: The ‘Why’. Being able to track the effect of your tactics on your strategy plays a very important role in earning a brand’s trust.
Speed and collaboration have never been more important. Pace of delivery and the capability to be agile has become a basic necessity to respond quickly to both the market and consumers. Brands look for leaner agencies that are able to turnaround projects that have seemingly difficult deadlines, including some that come around in the last minute, very quickly. And let’s not forget that great collaborations create great work. To deliver successful projects, involving brands at every stage of the project from start to finish becomes very crucial.
Move measurement upfront. Brands today need agencies to present result-driven ideas along with the creatives. They want to be able to measure the impact of any creative proposed and look for agencies to mention the intent to capture this marketing performance data upfront. Also, a surprising number of marketing leaders still struggle to justify the marketing investments made, and want the agencies to pitch in more.
Agencies can thrive in this rapidly changing market only if they clearly understand and articulate the value they can offer to brands. And with that, here's to a highly measurable, highly creative and highly committed ‘Brand-Agency’ relationship!
*Statistics source: Marketing Week Study