Strategy and strategy departments, are what I believe are ad agency ‘Opportunity and Growth’ departments.
Clients, marketers and brands are looking for the most value at the lowest possible cost. Meaning, they want to see tangible results with every effort exerted by different partners, using their money.
I believe that if you want to grow your ad agency revenue and reputation, not just amongst your ad agency peers, but with marketers or clients, you’d need to grow and empower your strategists and strategy departments.
Below is my #StrategyWishList:
- For brands/marketers and ad agencies to do real purposeful work for the people, country and the environment
- No gimmicks to enter for awards, but work that is real, and has impact. Impact not just in the world, but clients’ bottom line.
- I hope for Strategy to be the guiding principle for ALL creative work, even proactive ideas. That means strategy departments and strategists being part of the journey all the way
- For ad agencies to encourage for proactive strategy. From proactive strategy, then create and craft ideas to bring the proactive strategy to life. Why? Because strategic intention, efforts and or ambitions are meant to answer to business challenges. If ad agencies can start with proactive strategy, it means that by the time they get to the proactive idea, everyone involved will be aware of the business challenges and strategic ambition, meaning ideas will not just be ideas for the sake of creativity, but to address what clients are actually worried about.
- I wish ad agencies to show what I call ‘Business Empathy’. Business empathy is when ad agencies not only try to prove or show their creative prowess, but also show that they are concerned and worried about their clients’ overall business. Number 4 on the list can and will result in number 5. Proactive strategies will show ‘Business Empathy’.
- For ad agencies to encourage their strategists to spend more time with their clients in order to unearth more opportunities. Through the strategy department, ad agencies can find real opportunities for work that is important and needed by clients. When strategists know and understand a client’s business, and has regular conversations with client, trust and rapport is strengthened. Opening up opportunities for greater, deeper and meaningful relationships that will lead to the output of important and effective work.
- For ad agencies to give more autonomy and power to strategy departments, thereby possibly yielding not only greater revenue opportunities, but better client-agency relationships.
- For ad agencies to show more interest in their client’s business. Meaning, ad agencies need to be proactive in ensuring that the relationship is not just business. If the only reason an agency meets with a client is for a briefing, revert, debrief and status, then that meanings everything will be based just on the work. It’s important for client-agency relationship have built-in rapport. The more an ad agency shows interest in a client’s business, beyond business, the more open that client will be, and the stronger the relationship. I’ve seen a client leave an ad agency that was doing great creative work, for a relationship that would yield a better rapport. In other words, there was no reason for that client to leave the agency because the agency was doing great work, but the client did leave. You don’t want to be that agency. This proves that clients want more than just great creative or communication outputs.
- Clients want to be shown love, regardless of the value of their retainer to the agency. Stronger relationships are able to unlock revenue opportunities for clients.
- Better clients-agency relationships are managed through better and stable emotional or human to human relationships.
Powerful brands are built in collaboration. As Heidi Brauer, CMO of Hollard said; “It takes a village to raise a brand”.
I hope your brand is surrounded by villagers who are truly concerned about your brand.
Let me know what you think about this wishlist. Leave comments below.
N.B.: Share with your colleagues, bosses and clients. Clients, share amongst your peers and have a conversation about what is it that you expect from ad agencies.
LinkedIn: Bogosi Motshegwa