Friday, 24 October 2014

Will automation kill creative and marketing agencies?

What happens when marketing automation services are combined with site optimisation platforms, retargeting and CRM solutions? So imagine the best of eloqua, monetate, outbrain, adobe, salesforce or whoever building an end to end solution to engage consumers. Don't think they wont, they have started already.

Clients will understandably be seduced by the ability to test, learn, respond in real time. No need for strategy as that rarely survives a smack in the face (Mike Tyson). It will be short term continuous tactical optimisation. It will be personalised. And it will probably work. Relationships will of course be overtly transactional. And brand will be delivered through content and 121. Control. Lovely.

The marketing department will need some other stuff. Some content, although they probably got too much anyway. So what they really need is a copy writer and an editorial plan. And of course a few pictures, some nice creative. Maybe an app build, assuming they need something more than the basic. Companies like umajin let you build a basic one quickly and cost effectively.

So what will the role of the agency be? A design shop, delivering creative assets. Perhaps if we are lucky we will incubate services like community management, handing it over to the client when it is up and running. There may be brand consultancies delivering territories and small creative shops executing the strategy. They will have to compete on price and speed.

The best agencies will transform themselves into strategic partners, helping clients procure creative solutions. The weaker ones will be arguing it is all about the creative, emotional engagement and ignore the commercial challenges.

The really smart ones will have to become platform integrators. Don't really know what that means. But clearly there is role for someone to be an agnostic expert. Someone to advise how to pull it together and spot the missing gaps in the customer experience.

I am off to brush up my knowledge of automation and all the platforms that get launched almost weekly.


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Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.