Ad agencies have long enjoyed the freedom of decision-making for their clients when it came to identifying creative solutions to brand problems. The traditional research and tracking methods used were usually focus group discussions, market research surveys, free sampling, offers and discounts, or redemption of coupons. Simple activities, but not highly reliable and definitely not conclusive.
So with the entrance of Ad tech agencies, who are armed with volatile data and analysis, there’s a clear threat to agencies who haven’t yet integrated ad tech into their systems. It’s time to address the elephant in the room, and fast. If agencies don’t pull up their socks and embrace technology, there’s a serious threat to them going extinct and losing market reputation.
Here are some steps that ad agencies can take to stay relevant in today’s digital world:
Put Your Expertise To Work
Agencies are known to bring a human angle to brands and create stories that relate on a personal level. It’s time to take the learning of traditional ad spaces and make them relevant and quantifiable for the digital space. The deep understanding of how infographic, psychographic and environmental factors play a vital role in understanding customers and using that information to create relatable stories is priceless. It cannot be left to technology to decode these human emotions and relationships. Agencies need to create a strong case for themselves using existing success stories and in fact, use technology to validate their stand.
2. Build Ad Tech As Your New Weapon
It’s time to put on the learning hat and pick up some technology tricks for analysis and tracking performance of ad campaigns. It may be a wise decision to create a separate ad tech wing and hire resources who already understand how to build and use technology to benefit clients. Moreover, creating an in-house tech would mean you can take back the media buying activities that have been outsourced to new ad tech agencies who may have good tech knowledge but don’t understand the intricacies of where customers hang out.
3. Data-first Approach
As creative people, it is tempting to stick to the old route of storytelling to entice your client and get a go-ahead for a new campaign idea. But now, even clients know that data cuts through all pitches if you want a quick approval and go-ahead. So use this to your advantage, dive head-first into data and analysis and use them as propellors to push forward your creative ideas.
4. Combine Forces to Become Indispensable
If there’s an ad tech agency out there that’s doing good work, don’t shy away from approaching them and discussing possible collaborations. Don’t forget that while they may have the tech expertise, you bring to the table years of branding and marketing experience that cannot be replicated. And they could use this knowledge to make improvements to their tech in order to provide much better solutions for their clients.
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