The disconnect between creativity and performance has been sucking the life out of marketing agencies for years. On one hand, audiences and demographics respond the best to media campaigns that do not feel like media campaigns. But on the other hand, business want their advertising dollars to make a lasting and tangible difference in their sales and operations. Blending metric-based solutions that have a direct impact on cash flow, margins, and market share with creative audience friendly content is the real challenge. A challenge consultancy are up for.
More and more consultancies are taking the place of the traditional “creative” agencies when it comes to meeting the marketing needs of today. And the industry has taken notice. For example, in 2016 two consultancies made the list of the world’s top agencies. While the very next year in 2017, four consultancies showed up on the very same list. Marketers are pushing this trend in that 73% of them are open and willing to hire consultancies to meet their digital marketing needs but are unwilling to use agencies.
Results are everything in the modern age of advertising. And that is okay as machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies allow for everything to be measured.
Do not get us wrong, specified metrics and clear, defined success in advertising is far from new. And guess who has a history of providing these end goals to their clients? Consultants. Where agencies emphasis creativity and call and idea a ‘strategy’, consultancies understand that a good advertisement is not going to build a brand anymore. Yes, there was a time when agency executives could turn a hot ad into a silver ticket to a greater market share. But that time is over, and it has been for decades.
Ad agencies worked when consumer journeys were simple. But now, as of 2019, customer journeys are anything but. There are dozens of interactions that many times are disconnected, on many different channels be it online or offline. Being able to identify, track, and analyze all of these interactions is what any consultancy or agency worth their salt should be able to do. Superstar consultancies will be able to go one step further an develop solutions based off this data. Big names like Uber, LG, and Airbnb hire consultancies just for this reason.
To the agency, this is the difference between a creative director and an art director. Both provide art directed tactics and alignment to a project and are crucial to brands and companies, but they are fundamentally different.
Creative Directors see the project in terms of scale, strategy, execution, and analytics. Whereas art director’s see their purpose as advancing their craft. Sure, Creative Directors do not come about as often but when they do, and they are good at their jobs, they are worth their weight in gold in that they keep a working understanding of their clients needs, customers, audiences, and marketplaces.
And when it comes to agencies and consultancies, here is the rub. Creative directors are more likely to work with consultancies over agencies. Why’s that you may ask? Because creative directors like their clients care about performance and not just press. While being an artist and creating something ‘new’ is part of the process, the bottom line comes down to conversions.
Finding talent that understands this will likely be easier for those looking to consultancies.
Much to the shagreen of ag agencies, consultancies historically have better served these needs and continues to do so today. Agencies all over the world are facing this cold reality by evolving, downsizing, being acquired, or going bankrupt. No matter the talent agencies can bring in they simply cannot offer holistic solutions needed to execute innovative advertising campaigns. And it is this fact that is slowing them down.
For the four consultancies that have made the top 10 list, the future knows no bounds. Market trends reflect a translating of skills and technology into profit. If you are still using the advertisement as the hallmark of your marketing ad’s it may be time to reconsider.
Edwin Miranda is the CEO and Founder of KOI IXS, a full-service, performance-driven marketing agency. Miranda is a stalwart believer in the power of performance marketing and is dedicated to helping global brands gain larger market shares, create meaningful customer engagement, and acquire and retain new customers.
KOI IXS was an idea that Miranda brought to life at the young age of 21.
“I believe that what worked at that time was my passion and desire to bringing the idea into reality,” Miranda says.