How the agency of the future can help you be a rockstar

These are big times for Marketing and PR, both on the client and agency side, even if some people don’t know it yet. Technology is a relentless force for disruption and ‘business as usual’ these days is an oxymoron. Blink and the way you have always done things is suddenly out of date and you’re left scratching your head as the competition passes you by.

They say change is not for the faint hearted and these times definitely belong to the brave. PR meets Marketing; SEO meets PR, Marketing meets Sales. They all meet each other and technology owns the room. Boom, welcome to the future!

Right now, if your CEO wants more sales (who doesn’t?) and you’re directly or indirectly responsible for delivering that, you can look at ‘change’ as a massive opportunity or a pain the neck; change will either make you a rockstar or redundant.

Think of your agency as an accelerator in either direction. These are the guys who you pay to make things happen so if they’re on top of the future, you’re in a good place. A progressive agency won’t cost you any more but it will make a hell of a difference. To be a rockstar, you need a rockstar agency.

You may have one of those already – if you have, the chances are they don’t follow yesterday’s rules or fit the usual stereotypes. They think different, work different and look different. They are the agencies of the future.

Here are 10 attributes of a progressive agency to support your journey to ‘rockstar’.

  1. A specialist on your market
    An agency specialism used to refer to disciplines, but that’s not what we’re talking here. PR, creative, advertising, digital build, DM, social, lead gen – – they’re all connected now. When you have all that to contend with and spit out a meaningful ROI, it’s important that an agency can focus its experts on a specific market. These are not times for generalists –- modern agencies know their patch. Check that the agency isn’t selling oven chips one minute and silicon chips the next!
  2. Tells you things about your customers that you didn’t know
    We live with information overload. To get your message across to a buyer is becoming a very sophisticated process with a lot of moving parts. The more you know about that buyer – their likes and dislikes; things that keep them up at night; their buyer journey – the more effective you’ll be. A successful outcome starts with killer insight and that’s a dedicated skill within an agency.
  3. Makes life easy for you
    With so many parts to a programme and all the experts needed behind it, sewing it all together is a potential nightmare. Look for an agency that isn’t bound by traditional service structures and can create simplicity – like a single client contact overseeing a bullet-proof methodology which harnesses a myriad of skills. Just as cars are far more complicated than 20 years ago but easier to drive, the same should be true for your agency!
  4. Is your flexible friend
    Look for an agency who’s staff have a firm grasp of emerging skills – they are the new playmakers. Client Directors, project managers and specialists all working together to maximise your programme’s success within a fluid and agile agency service model; one that shapes to specific campaigns rather than one size fits all.
  5. Obsessed about your KPIs
    If you’re trying to grow Sales, then that’s the North Star the agency should be focused on. Outcomes are for the brave and are the real KPIs; everything else (a series of outputs) is a necessary step in delivering that goal. Gone are the days of an investment that can’t be measured.
  6. Focused on you, not their watches
    When you’ve got a clear end goal for your campaign or programme, the most important thing is the agency delivers, irrespective of how long that takes; outcomes override timesheets. Innovative agencies are now creating products that stack together, each with a defined price and output, to create a successful programme that delivers a tangible outcome. Time is so yesterday!
  7. Fitted with a pacemaker so that you don’t need one
    Marketing has changed more in the last two years than in the last ten and with such seismic changes occurring, look for an agency which is able to keep up with continual change. The right agency will be able to run at 100 miles per hour so that you don’t have to take the strain of tech innovation
  8. Talks your talk
    If your business is about Sales, that’s what your agency’s business should be. If you can find an agency comfortable talking about things like ‘Buyer journeys’, ‘Pipeline’ and ‘Cost per lead’, then you know you’re working with the right bunch. If not, find one fast!
  9. Not a nodding dog
    Avoid any agencies that always say ‘yes’? When you’re looking for a an agency to support your business’s top line, it’s key you have a true partner, not just a supplier. You’re paying good money so it’s only right they give you good consultancy. Agencies like that will treat you like an adult and want that respect back; they will choose you as much as you choose them.
  10. Hungry for a challenge
    Progressive agencies are normally ones that’s are never satisfied – they will push themselves as hard as you do and they will be hell bent on success. To state the obvious, you need someone who’s not just up for the challenge but will thrive on it.

There you have it – a rockstar match up.

Some agencies to inspire you

If you want to know what rockstar agencies look like, the PRCA has picked five agencies of the future.