Marketers that change their agency relationships will get a jump-start on Adaptive Marketing. Once a handful of leading marketers begin to reshape their agency relationships, a domino effect will occur. Here are some of the changes that Forrester says will affect agencies:
- Technology companies and agencies will compete more directly. Technology companies and consultancies are now offering agency-like services. This trend will continue as digitization moves marketing from art to risk planning. While these companies will compete more directly with agencies for marketing service opportunities, they will struggle to provide the emotional connections and creativity that marketers will still require to establish their distinctiveness.On the other hand, agency-holding companies like WPP and Omnicom Group will continue to invest in technology companies to enhance their left-brain abilities.
- The interactive agency of record will die. In the Adaptive Marketing era, interactive marketing will become core rather than a secondary effort for marketing departments. The end result: The interactive agency of record will become obsolete. Leading interactive agencies will have to make the big choice to enter the race to be the lead agency or fall back into a niche specialty.
- Media will be managed holistically. In the Adaptive Marketing era, marketers will need to move seamlessly between digital, broadcast, and branded entertainment options and across earned, owned, and paid media options. This holistic approach to media will mean agencies that deal in this broader definition of media (e.g., media planning, interactive, and PR agencies) will blend together or compete as “interaction” agencies.Starcom MediaVest already describes itself as a “human experience” agency focusing on all forms of media, while social media agencies like the Digital Influence Group start planning some paid media to go along with the earned media they create through social experiences.
- Media “derivatives” will emerge. With the rise of demand-side platforms and ad exchanges, media planning and buying is moving from math to a higher science. Many of the services an agency provides, especially in paid media, such as optimization and traffic analysis, are now being automated or sent offshore.As David Kenny, managing partner of Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi predicts, media planners of the future will “be like portfolio managers focused on managing risk for their clients.”
- Agencies (and other marketing outsourcers) will become more important than ever.Marketing is becoming faster and more complex by the day. Twitter and iPhone apps were a blip two years ago, and Foursquare was a blip until the end of 2009. Consumer behavior is changing rapidly, while media platforms are becoming more splintered and unique. Marketers will need to look to specialists in creativity, technology, and data to help make sense of this complicated landscape.
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