Forrester Research Validation Of AAA Business Model
LONDON: The report from Forrester Research argues that traditional
advertising and media agencies will give way within five years to a
new breed of agencies with greater data analytics and planning skills.
Industry relationships may even change to the extent that instead of
pitching for a brand's business, agencies may 'sell' access to groups
of consumers in whose interests they learn to act.
The report was co-authored by Mary Beth Kemp, who has worked for both
clients and agencies during a 20-year career in marketing, and Pete
Kim. It was based on conversations with marketers from Coca-Cola,
Procter & Gamble and HSBC and with agency bosses from WPP Group,
Publicis Groupe and Omnicom.
Speaking to Brand Republic ahead of its publication, Kemp said she
could not cite any current examples of agencies working the way the
report predicts they will.
However, emerging trends such as social networking, word of mouth
marketing and agencies harnessing user-generated content are leading
down the road to the new-look agency-consumer-brand relationship.
Meanwhile, the decline of mass audiences and the increasing ability of
consumers to share knowledge are causing problems for the traditional
Kemp said: quot;Creative and media agencies are pretty much stuck in the
mass media world, which is normal because they are optimised for it.quot;
The successful agency of the future will have learned to connect
itself with defined communities of consumers and cultivate insights
into their behaviour.
Mass communities such as Facebook will evolve into more selective
groups, which agencies will help by funding them and helping them
Such communities could be formed not just online, but also offline,
with Kemp providing the example of an agency funding a community hall.
Account people will evolve into quot;community managersquot;, who will help
the community sell itself to certain brands. quot;The agency would know
which brand would be best to let in, which brands should be kept out,
and what information can be shared and with whom it can be shared,quot;
The focus on passing information on to selected brands will boost
agency demand for specialists in data analytics and insight. While
salaries will increase, work will also be outsourced to cheaper
countries such as India and China. Creatives will still be important,
but will work less on one-way campaigns to a mass audience than on
quot;ongoing dialoguesquot; with individuals. Talent will also come from
outside the agency, as consumers take a greater role in content
creation. Kemp foresees the production process will also become
globalised as agencies build supply chains similar to those used today
by carmakers PC manufacturer Dell.
Media companies will try to compete with agencies in catering for
consumer groups, she believes, acknowledging that newspaper websites
and in particular Times Online are already thinking that way. However,
she expects it will be difficult for them to adjust their traditional
mass audience business model and their role will be mainly as content
supplier. I think the agencies will work with the media to source the
content which is most valuable for their particular audiences and they
will end up paying for that to be fed to their community.quot; The report
is titled 'The Connected Agency: Marketers partner with agencies who
listen instead of shout' and will be available shortly from Forrester.