Collaborating with your agency
Updated: Jan 7
A new generation of young, talented, digitally fluent marketers has entered the workforce. This generation brings firsthand fluency in social channels, mobile, and publishing to the table. They know exactly what it takes to build a social network, to pull together a webinar, and how to make the most of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
But what happens when the webinars fall flat? When no one reads the blog? Or when all the tweets in the world fail to deliver more viable sales leads. Then what?
In the old days, ad agencies gave access to high-value services that clients could rarely do in-house, such as scripting and recording radio ads, shooting TV spots, negotiating media buys, and even just printing. The Internet changed all that, giving brands access to massively popular digital devices and formats, such as phones and social networks.
The appeal is obvious. Digital channels are cheap and make it easy to publish. Websites, email campaigns, social networking, podcasts, ebooks, and other popular digital channels have never been more affordable or accessible for businesses to adopt. And adopt them they do, often by hiring talented in-house marketers to manage their website, online community, analytics, and so on.
The great disconnect
As businesses quite rightly build their own digital marketing competencies, they don’t need agencies as much. They can manage their own email, publish their own blog, and handle their social plus everything else, thank you very much. It’s often only after the content they use falls flat that they might ask for some creative assistance.
Almost any organization can develop a digital publishing capacity, but few have the capacity (or desire) to develop a creative one, especially if it involves hiring in-house writers, designers, and creative directors.
More than ever, businesses need quality content. Content customers love to consume. Content that educates and inspires. Content that makes a boring subject fascinating, or at least intriguing. Content that serves a marketing purpose without feeling like an annoying ad. Content that gets shared. The type of content created by professional writers, designers, musicians, illustrators, photographers, directors, and other marketers working together.
“Content is King.” Bill Gates said it in 1996 and truer words have rarely been spoken. As our culture completes its digital transformation, the customer demand for fresh and artful content will only grow.
And so we arrive at the answer. In this new digital world where organizations can control their own marketing destiny, they need a co-creative service, not an agency of record. Instead of having their agency visit once a month to make a big presentation and talk, they need great content creators with whom they can collaborate and learn, day in, day out to improve their marketing and achieve better outcomes.