A Reinvention of the Creative Agency

November 14, 2017

Blog | Strategy | A Reinvention of the Creative Agency
the reinvention of the creative agency

Martech will reinvent the creative agency – a call to arms.

The old model is dead. I believe in the future of Martech as a means of reinventing the creative agency and empowering creatives with the tools required to service their clients in the era of data-driven strategy.

With over 15 years experience working in the creative space and obvious signs of an industry in decline, I believe a major shift is on the horizon thanks to the powerful marketing technology tools now available to brands. With over 5,000 tools, services, and solutions to engage and nurture digital consumers and nearly 100 billion dollars in investment, chances are high that the CMO will soon be replaced with the CMTO (T is for technology).

While Martech has been on the rise for some time, not all brands are in a position to take advantage of everything it has to offer; to the select few that truly embrace Martech, the future is bright. Meanwhile, the agency space is naively ignoring Martech’s potential. To the creative agencies that choose to be early adopters go all the spoils. To all others, consider this a call to arms.

Martech is art AND science

Marketing has always been an art. Sure, every marketer will tell you that they love data, but historically, data have been an afterthought, rarely a primary driver. Almost universally, data are meaningless without the ability to interpret them. Martech changes that.

At its core, Martech fulfills the promise we espouse in every client pitch: delivering our clients a data-driven strategy. Engaging the sea of Martech services, agencies have the ability to capture data (both big and small) on endless elements of consumer behavior, engagement, and socialization. On top of this, marketers will be able to leverage that data to cast and recast creative strategies in real-time, delivering highly customized content and experiences with the click of a button.

The result is very powerful: a highly creative and informed marketer with tons of data.

Every marketer desires their efforts to be viewed as a profit center not a cost center. If a marketer can prove and then optimize the value of the programs they execute using analytics, it is hard to question their efficacy as well as the agency that supports them.

Martech does just that; it democratizes big data and not just for those with endless budgets. Agencies that truly prioritize providing value to their clients should look to embrace the science that Martech enables and leverage the proof points in its amassed data.

Consumer behavior above all else

A recent eConsultancy report indicated that 81% of consumer brands believe they have a holistic view of their customers. Conversely, only 37% of consumers feel that they are actually understood by their favorite brands. Martech closes the gap.

Between machine learning, audience personalization and marketing automation, brands have the ability to craft a unique experience that is driven by the consumers interests not the business.

Setting up an experience like this is no small technological feat, but once the tools are in place, the results drive a brand interaction that is uniquely built for each and every consumer, communications that are relevant at the point of need, and messages that are anticipated and highly personalized.

Technology is the means NOT the Solution

Creating connected customer experiences requires connecting a wide variety of individual Martech solutions, frameworks, systems and data, not only to streamline operations, but also to deliver the most coherent and connected journey for the consumer.

When the tools are implemented and arranged to deliver unique experiences, the resulting customer conversations and interactions are more effective, more valuable, and more scalable. The fundamental component to Martech success is putting the consumer at the heart of the intent and leveraging best-of-need (NOT best-of-breed) products to support the customer’s journey.

The consumer journey should drive tool selection and employment, the tools themselves should not impact the consumer journey, only facilitate making it more seamless.

As a case study in Martech excellence, Domino’s Pizza has recently undergone a technology reinvention, putting their customer’s experience in front of the pizza itself. While improving the quality of the pizza was of course a top priority, so too was how the brand got their new product into the hands of its customers. Through a wide variety of tools and technologies, the company made online ordering and customer satisfaction the cornerstone of its business. By prioritizing mobile experience, profile management, real-time data display (both internally and to paying customers), bot communication, and now voice activation, Domino’s has become something that it likely never intended to be — an experience company, leveraging technology that customizes each consumer touchpoint, all while crafting and delivering great pizza.

Technology is a means to help the business, which above all is a means of helping the customer.

Don’t get me wrong, quality creative matters, but if you want your agencies creative efforts to deliver value and stand the test of time, then the only logical solution for future growth is to tie your success to a data-driven strategy leveraging the power of Martech.

Stephen Downs

Executive Vice President of Business Development
  • Creative Agency
  • Marketing Technology
  • MarTech
  • Technology

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