Some key advice from the head honcho at marketing service company Kenshoo, the vice president of Australia and New Zealand, Arsham Imani, on how to be a great digital agency in a time of rapid change.
The digital marketing industry is getting more complex as new channels, platforms and ad units are introduced to the customer’s journey.
How do digital agencies keep up as new technology proliferates the landscape and new media destinations emerge and grab consumer attention?
As an example, Instagram advertising went live around the world last month and early demand from advertisers is strong. Instagram cleverly announced wider screen formats, and the platform is exploding. The narrow-cast channel approach is over; brands need to be seen on all the relevant channels and moments that consumers engage, and must test, learn, and optimise their digital ad strategies as close to real-time as possible.
Automation is clearly the answer, but how does this affect the agency culture and processes along the way? The trick is to be agile, and build a culture that enables swift action to be taken, and a flexible approach to new marketing opportunities.
As Australia’s new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said upon his elevation to the top job last month: “The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative. We can’t be defensive, we can’t future-proof ourselves.
The key question for agencies and advertisers is to find out where people are consuming their media and on what type of device. That is the macro challenge for every digital agency, and it must determine their starting approach to any paid media campaign. The emergence of new advertising opportunities on social platforms, mobile web sites, and in-app mobile destinations, can also place pressure on digital agencies to move quickly.
The other challenge is to effectively manage the firehose of data that is flowing into agency-managed dashboards and vendor software engines. Data-driven advertising is challenging every agency to hire smartly, help their teams learn quickly, and test, learn and modify campaigns on the fly.
Our Australian partner, Salmat Digital, believes that in order to be successful, agencies need to form teams that can collaborate to solve complex marketing problems, and ensure everyone is accountable for the performance of a brand’s digital marketing campaign.
“Consumers today go through lots of steps, touchpoints, and channels before they become a customer – they’ll see paid search ads, receive emails, click through on organic search results and more,” said Ian Harris, COO of Salmat’s Digital division. “Sometimes this journey can take days, sometimes weeks or months. And much to the frustration of digital marketers, there’s no ‘silver bullet’ that will drive them straight to your door.”
The new demands of digital marketing will mean that agencies need to be more responsive to fragmented media consumption patterns, implement rapid iterations, and deploy data into campaign management at a much faster rate.
The challenge for agencies will be to learn fast, hire smartly, and use software to win.
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