Did you just poop your pants? Maybe a little bit?
You actually have nothing to fear, unless of course you do actually hope to remain the “interactive agency of record” for your clients. Not that they will no longer require your services, it’s just that a new Forrester reports says that the role will become obsolete.
You see, “the agency of record” will need to be able to handle both traditional and interactive marketing–the lines have blurred. If you’re not the agency of record, you’ll still have a role to play–even if it’s a niche role that your firm specializes in.
Fortunately, you still have some time to prepare for this migration. Apparently, there’s still so little overlap between the “big 5″ agency types–advertising, direct, media buying, interactive, and PR–that companies are not going to be able to put all of their marketing eggs in one basket–at least not yet.
So what should your company look for in a marketing agency? Well, Forrester says we’re approaching the age of Adaptive Marketing. One that requires three core skills from the agency of record: ideas, interaction, and intelligence.
The report breaks down the definition and skillset of each, but I’ll leave you with an explanation of the intelligence component:
It is not enough for adaptive agencies to understand market research, ethnographic, or behavioral data. To fully understand customers, and to leverage that knowledge to improve customer experience, requires agencies to understand the interplay between the various types of data, and crucially, demands the ability to turn the data into actionable intelligence. What should you look for? Ask agencies to show you how they use customer data to drive decisions relating to everything from contact strategy to positioning and messaging to product ideation. As the VP of marketing at a national pizza chain pointed out, “Our brand is owned by the consumer. To be successful, we have to understand their passion points and hit them with relevant connections where they live, work, or play.”