How agencies can defend against creative-hungry consultancies | Mumbrella360 video

In this session from Mumbrella360, SapientRazorfish's Hilding Anderson argues that agencies need to provide end-to-end solutions in order to compete with consultancies.

Agencies need to fill gaps around business and technology to provide end-to-end offerings like the consultancies which are “gobbling up” agencies, the director of research and insights at SapientRazorfish’s Washington DC office says.

Speaking ]during the following Mumbrella360 session on digital transformation, Hilding Anderson says agencies need to build their backstage offering and provide an end-to-end solution, similar to consultancies.

“As the agency world has done over the last 30 years, there’s a lot of skills that have to be developed. Service design is understood as a need; atomic design, responsive design, people understand that.

“What often is missed are things like technology – knowing how to help, to be knowledgeable around technology, to move fast with technology,” he said.

“All the boring non-agency stuff – like organisational design, MVP analysis or business cases – there’s actually a need for either finding a partner for that side or for having a couple of people that can talk that talk around the business.”

He adds helping clients with technology problems was also a key area agencies needed to develop skills in.

“There is a gap a lot of agencies have around the business and technology orientation, that will need to be filled or explored more than it has been.”

Anderson urged agencies to build their skills and become active in business transformation conversations.

“This idea that marketing is not relevant to the business transformation concept is erroneous.

“Marketing and technology, which have long been the support functions, are now weapons, and agencies have to be part of that conversation to make the change,” he says.

“The new skills and expertise have to be developed. But the fundamentals of agency life remain highly relevant and highly important.”

Hilding Anderson: “Advertising effectiveness has fallen through to the floor”

Anderson says becoming more “customer-led” and “moving away from campaign orientation” was important for marketers in the transformation process.

“For the CMO and for agencies, there are multiple changes that have to be made. The first is you are much more customer led.

“The second is moving away from this campaign orientation to something much faster – rapid, test and learn, short cycles.

“A third is a fundamental orientation shift away from the push marketing and towards this idea of pull,” he explains.

Commenting on the lack of advertising effectiveness in the current media landscape, Anderson points out advertising – as it is traditionally defined – is becoming less effective.

“If you look at the ad blocking numbers, we know that people have more control today than ever before around access to ads.

“By traditional measures, pretty clearly, advertising effectiveness has fallen through to the floor.”


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