by Otavio Dias, CEO and Partner of REPENSE
The courage to innovate and the ability to adapt have become the focus not only of agencies but also of the entire business world. There is a widespread search (and anguish) for innovation, with a fundamental difference from a few years ago: transformation is no longer a matter of differentiation but of survival.
In the branch segment, we already have many "waves" in our market: the emergence of specialist agencies (CRM, Digital, Branding, Live Marketing, etc.), integrated agencies or 360 (usually with the advertising agency as the leading agency) and creative "hot shops". More recently, we have also seen the boom of performance agencies and the "turn" of many specialist agencies (especially Digital) into integrated agencies, in many cases taking the lead in their clients' entire communication process.
Accompanying these transformations, I am convinced that there is no single path to the format that agencies have or will have. On the contrary, customers are also changing and will have demands that are increasingly customized to their needs and viscerally integrated into their structures.
No wonder the in-company format, with agency teams allocated within the client companies, has become an increasingly common practice, after all, everyone also wants more strategic involvement, agility and especially collaboration between their teams, which also explains the boom in the application and use of workshops, group dynamics and fast processes.
The mantra of the time is FLEXIBILITY, because the way of working, the technical backgroundand the profile of each team must adapt to the new times and, especially, tothe needs of each of its clients.
For Business-to-Business customers, for example, CRM integrated with Digital and focused mainly on lead generation and conversion is a protagonist, after all, the sales process in this type of business is always rational, technical, time consuming, and anchored in relationship.
For "Digital Natives" businesses such as E-Commerce and the vast majority of startups, performance thinking is the "core" of communication, as in these companies, the measurement of the impact of on- and off-line communication time of customer journey - has reached an unimaginable level of sophistication.
For businesses such as retail and consumer goods, the integration of Digital with Mass Media - and especially POS - will be increasingly driven by data and technology, making data science a key discipline for agencies that meet this customer profile.
And regardless of the client or agency profile, in this new era of "radical transparency" in which we live, concern about corporate reputation and organizational culture has also become paramount. HR teams approached the Marketing teams and the communication and relationship work with employees and stakeholders gained projection, budget and creative sophistication.
If in the past companies (and agencies) were black boxes where consumers (and customers) only had access to what they were shown, today they are turning into “glass boxes”, where the consistency between what they promise or "they say they are" and what they truly deliver "and really are" has brought even more need for rapport, trust and reciprocal knowledge of their idiosyncrasies, strengths and vulnerabilities. In addition "Data-Driven", it is critical to be increasingly "Relationship-Driven", after all, as John Naisbitt, a well-known American futurist, has predicted: the more "High-Tech" we become, the more "High-Touch" we need to be.