• Technology and channels of customer interaction to and from the business: Agencies of the future need to be able to handle online contact and support via channels like social media, SMS, Skype, web, and email in real time
• Changing behaviours in the way people interact with information, content, and customer experiences: Increasing information overload and more individuals using multiple channels to find and share content and information are both changing behaviours and challenging the traditional business model
• Ongoing investment and investments in skills in a world of developing technologies: Business models and behaviour are changing so fast that it’s nearly impossible to keep up
• Education and training of humans in cognitive and behavioural sciences will determine success in the future
Part of an overall C.E.O. plan to deal with these issues
Each C.E.O. will create a set of goals for the organization for the next 3-5 years and has identified areas where he/she wants to be able to provide exceptional customer service – those areas being listed above.
• Agencies of the future may work for themselves (by providing a service, for example) or provide a service for multiple clients. These can either be directly or indirectly owned.
• Agencies may create their own agency brand. They will certainly create their own brand if they have a direct service offering (such as in telemarketing).
• Agencies may provide services in global markets, serve clients locally, and work for both direct and indirect clients.
• Agencies may run their own telecom and internet networks and handle the communications for clients. They will also provide services in vertical markets.
• Agencies may be joined up, owning what they do in one agency. They will depend on their own source of funding to cover the costs of running and maintaining a physical, online and/or mobile service and data centre.
The next stage of the C.E.O. Other C.E.O.s is working to design their own agency model – they will go through a proper agency tender process to choose an agency they feel has the right formula for success. The agency’s strategy will be to work with the agency team to design the right business model for their particular purpose.
As a service, the agency should be,
• Independent but not unfunded,
• You own your core competence,
• Media and creative agency leading an integrated service business,
• Vendor model (internal and external) depending on client and service requirement.
Agencies are quick to realise that to stay in business – they must learn how to be agile, know that thinking and acting rapidly and innovatively are important – and, of course, learn that when business is changing as fast as the world is changing, speed and agility become ever more important.
Agency models that use technology will look different from each other. In the future, “agencies” will likely mean, not just agencies, but also co-called marketing partners: agencies in the online age will probably focus on “digital marketing”, others will concentrate on “digital engagement” and yet others, such as “chief creative architects” will concentrate on, among other things, “creative solutions”.
Even if the first agency team that will be based at your data centre will look a lot like the first one working on your brand’s account today, technology and channels of interaction to and from the business are likely to evolve so fast that in the future they will probably not have much in common. I will write more about this in a later post.
And where there are a few agencies, people will spend more time working with them to create solutions that also incorporate traditional channels.
In order to have any chance of success in the future (but especially in the now) agencies must:
• Be agile, shift their mindset, and come up with new ways of working and of thinking – just like their clients must
• Develop a short list of core competencies, smart ways of working together, be willing to change (for instance, take on new responsibilities or roles), and communicate this clearly, and
• Be capable of learning. Remember: you are only as good as your last C.E.O.
The more you learn and flex your business model, the less it will take and the better results you will achieve. And the more effective you are at leading the C.E.O.S. they have, the better chance you will have of success.
And keep your eyes open – new companies are inbound and looking for funding and talent to get ready to take you on.
Read more C.