Leveraging Agency Relationships To Meet Your Business Goals.
Will start by sharing a recent experience that is common place and you may resonate with. I was talking to a brand team about the experiences that are important while defining the digital strategy. Brand manager ‘I know it, it’s one of the important aspects our organization is moving towards but will take it’s time, so for now just let’s concentrate on Social media/leads”.
Brands large and small around the globe are working with agencies to further their digital marketing efforts. While few have really gone all out and owned them as partners, many have not realized the essence of involving their digital partner at the business planning stage.
No matter what stage they’re in, every business has questions about how to get digital to drive their ROI. After all there are so many businesses that are getting very successfully built by focusing on pure digital marketing.
But do we, as digital agencies, get that kind of brief? Is a Big Question!
Today we don’t need to sell digital media as we used to in the early 20’s. In fact `digital is the way of doing business’. While marketers agree, and so do most those who sit right on top of the pyramid, why do digital agencies still get briefs which are isolated. For eg: we need to generate leads, we need someone to manage our social handles, we need SEO, etc.
Brands must look at Digital agencies as their partners (is a much abused term very rarely practiced in reality). I would rather use the word ‘clone’ whose journey starts right from the (birth) identification of need/challenge, to planning the target/goal for the business!
Technology today has the capability to scan through reports which are structured / unstructured & give key insights! Wow don’t we know that? Yes we do! But has your business made plans based on these reports, connecting the dots between online investments and business impact.
Often there are various and rational reasons for not being able to get these reports. Because we don’t look at businesses with a single view! Every stakeholder or department looks at their specific KRA’s and briefs their respective agency on the same!
An agency should be given insight on each & every medium / details that will help achieve the Brand/Business Goal. There has to be a change in sharing brief documents, it should be a single brief floated to all agencies! How do we do this?
Answer is collaboration all the way! Involve your digital agency at the time of planning itself & co-create the brief as well as key business stakeholders. If it means having to onboard an agency for the first time, then select an agency on past successes and your chemistry with them, and how well poised they are to understand your business.
To achieve a business goal, it’s never a person or one medium responsibility, as rightly said ‘it takes a village to raise a child’
‘Omnichannel’ The new kid on the block! In marketing it’s one of the business buzzwords many non-marketers roll their eyes at, but it refers to a significant shift from the multichannel marketing approach, because everything is digital – TV/OOH/POS/Social Online etc etc As our target audience is available through the day at various touch points. And more important in each touchpoint this audience is in a different mindset.
For instance, today, social media isn’t just a place for friends and family to stay in touch. It’s where people go to catch up on the latest news. This is where your customers search for recommendations and reviews. And so much more. Consumers see a TV ad and then search for information if interested. At the point of purchase, she checks online reviews or offers.
I would say first start with an Omni Brief, the rest will really follow! As digital plays an omnichannel role, giving a holistic view of your business and marketing initiatives as a part of the brief helps. Further stating the end-objective of your business as whole is critical. Then you are creating your clone who can leverage the digital opportunities that can be optimised to run with you in this race.
Let your agency know everything that was done right/wrong? How it helped? which was the medium that faced challenges/ what worked? and then create a plan that will help add value to your current system.
Customers today expect a seamless purchase experience whether they are scrolling through a company website on their mobile, monitoring LinkedIn opinions, reading Twitter reviews on their laptop or talking to a sales representative directly. Any confusion or conflicting information along the way, can lead to an unhappy customer who may turn to your competitor. Omnichannel marketing is about true continuity.
To conclude, if you are committed and can see the writing on the wall that digital is going to drive your business, then, it is time to work on the Omni-briefs. And, get the digital agency onboard from Day Zero to make digital drive your business.