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Advertising

How agencies are able to remain relevant in an in-house world

Marketing technology is growing and evolving in amazing ways. For many businesses, technology has been a gift. But for agencies, it’s been a gift and a curse.

Agencies can use technology to manage campaigns more efficiently, drive better results, and deliver deeper insights to their clients. But they’ve also seen clients take their advertising efforts in-house because the same technology enables them to handle all marketing independently.

Platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter make it relatively easy for businesses to do this — at least on the surface level. In reality, these tools aren’t built exclusively to help businesses maximize their advertising ROI; the primary goal of these platforms is to generate revenue. If you dig into Google’s fully automated dynamic campaigns, for example, you’ll realize that many of their match types and budgetary pieces are wide-reaching and wasteful in their cost structures, especially at the outset.

This is where agencies come into play — and where they remain as relevant and necessary as ever. They provide immense value because they understand how marketing technology works and are mindful of clients’ needs, ensuring that all tech platforms and marketing tools are used as efficiently and effectively as possible (and in unison).

As technology continues to make DIY advertising more accessible, agencies need to let businesses know that the value they provide is real, relevant, and far better than they’ll be able to achieve by taking advertising completely in-house. Here are three ways to do that:

#1: Keep up with technology: The future of agency success will revolve around leveraging digital advertising tools — not the ability to create beautiful advertisements. The “Mad Men” era is over. This is not the time to sit around a table, smoke cigarettes, and brainstorm clever slogans with your team. Instead, it’s time to develop your tech prowess. New technology is constantly emerging, and the algorithms powering it are changing by the day. Stay up to date by earning certifications and frequently attending conferences and webinars. They might feel time-consuming and tedious, but these educational opportunities will help you stay ahead of the curve.

#2: Test, test, test: “Testing” is a popular word in the agency world these days — and for a good reason. There are countless tools and platforms out there, and it’s essential to know which ones might best suit your clients’ needs. Deepen your understanding of each platform, ad set, bid strategy, or new tool by running it through various tests. Track your results, sharing your findings with clients. Explain how your experience and insights can help them mitigate risk, put their advertising budget to good use, and maximize their ROI. This is also very attractive to new prospects.

#3: Form strategic partnerships: Marketing technology is evolving at breakneck speed, and it just isn’t possible for a single team to keep up with all the changes and possess expert-level knowledge of every single platform, tool, and methodology. The remedy? Form strategic partnerships with other agencies to provide a better and broader scope of services to your clients. Even better, partners can also serve as great client advocates and referral sources.

The rise of marketing technology and automation might seem like a threat to your agency. In reality, these tools and platforms offer incredible growth opportunities. Show your clients how much value you can provide by embracing marketing tech, keeping up with any changes, and strengthening the human connections at the centre of everything.

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