A New Take on Forrester’s Future of Agency Relationships
Forrester released their new study this week on The Future of Agency Relationships.* In a nutshell, Sean Corcoran, the lead analyst on the study, proclaims that marketers will need to lead their agencies to make changes in order to cope with the rise of social media, new marketing channels and a sputtering economy. For those of us who work for agencies or marketing services and analytics firms, the implication is pretty clear: we’re either not smart enough to change ourselves or we’re so bogged down in what we’re currently doing that we’re unable to change our own companies. Our clients will have to do it for us.
To be honest, I was a little offended when I first read this in the 16-page report. I think I’m reasonably smart, I’ve invested time and money in strategic planning (including subscribing to Forrester) and I’m busy experimenting with many ideas in the new marketing frontier. Am I not able to change?
Then it dawned on me that he’s exactly right. In my entire career, it’s always been clients who have forced me to think outside of the box and try new ideas. After all, it’s by making heroes of our clients, usually as a result of some innovative thinking, that we develop long-tenured and mutually rewarding relationships.
One of Forrester’s recommendations is to “redefine the role your agencies.” This will be hard to do because marketers have a whole host of marketing and analytics vendors working on their accounts. As agencies change (whether they are led by clients or not), there will be even more overlaps than there are today. While we’ve been trained to be fiercely competitive, one unwritten outcome of the Forrester study is that we need to learn how to play nicely in the same sandbox.
“The Future of Agency Relationships.” (Forrester Research)
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