Investing in Technology for Smart Agencies
According to the RWS/US 2017 Outlook Survey Report, while Marketers and Agencies share a common business and often work together, their concerns about trends for 2017 differ. From differences in attitudes about investing in their respective businesses, to advertising and media spend, to investing in technology, the report seems to find little common ground. This is surprising, because they do share very important common goals – engage the client, produce valuable content, make conversions (or sales), establish ROI. Whether working together or independently, marketing automation provides the tools both agencies and marketers can use to reach their goals.
Marketing Automation Technology
“When asked to look ahead, 74% of marketers indicated they expect a moderate to significant increase in marketing technology spending over the next three years.” Marketers are investing in marketing automation technology, and expect their agencies to exhibit more data-driven approaches as well. Marketing Automation Technology platforms such as ActiveDEMAND, are created specifically for agencies, but work seamlessly for marketers, or even small businesses. With this type of all-in-one, full stack tool, agencies and marketers can meet the needs of their clients – even if their approaches are different.
In the RWS/US 2017 Outlook Survey Report, it is marketers’ expectation that “it is critical that an agency do some pretty heavy lifting when it comes to data and analytics.” Currently agencies don’t agree. Only 27% believing it is very important for “their agency to possess data and analytics capability”. With the constantly changing technology, marketing is more dynamic than ever before. Despite agencies concerns that “the quest for big data and questions about what to do with it, marketers are becoming paralyzed and forgetting the power of insightful and inspiring storytelling.”, big data provides the numbers to prove inspired storytelling is reaching and converting customers. According to the IDC, “the worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from $130.1 billion in 2016 to more than $203 billion in 2020. Like it or hate it, big data is here to stay and it is growing. Agencies that do not recognize the value the data provides to campaigns is going to lose – clients and revenue.
Manage the Data
Like marketers, agencies should make a “concerted move towards automation, analytics, data driven decision making…” to ensure they “…stay on top of the fast-paced technological changes and advancements.” With 46% of agencies expecting a moderate or large shift of clients to in-house agencies, they need to manage the data, analyze ROI, and present value delivered to those clients. Agencies hesitant to taking on data analysis on their own have an ally in marketing automation. With the right platform, many tasks that are daunting because of the manpower or time required, are automated to free up valuable employee time for more important agency tasks. Additionally, marketing automation platforms, like ActiveDEMAND, collect and manage the data associated with each campaign, giving agencies the power to prove value delivered to their clients.
In the RWS/US 2017 Outlook Survey Report, Marketers state, “We don’t see tech and marketing as separate. Indeed integration of digital/marketing and technology are intertwined.” Agencies and marketers who collaborate and work together well have a distinct advantage. Great marketing is not just about the data. It is not solely about fantastic graphics, copy, or storytelling either. But combine the greatest strengths of agencies and marketers with a marketing automation platform and a formidable partnership emerges.
Marketers plan to increase marketing spend in 2017. “We aren’t taking away from traditional methods to add capabilities. Rather we are adding resources.” Agencies should consider doing the same. The argument can be that there is no room in the budget for additional spend. But can agencies continue to thrive if they do not know if what they are spending on is producing results? With a marketing automation platform, managing campaign results is effortless. Instantly, agencies know whether their offline and online campaigns are working, where the weaknesses are so they can act to fix the issue.
Marketing Automation is a Tool
Marketing, specifically digital marketing, will continue to evolve and change. Agencies and marketers need to adapt to accommodate the, ‘I need it now’ mentality while continuing to deliver quality campaigns and proven results. Using marketing automation tools, like ActiveDEMAND’s marketing platform, streamlines the online campaign process. Agencies collect and manage data, provide personalized dynamic content options, and show value delivered to agency clients with robust dashboard reporting – all with one, easy-to-use tool. Smart agencies know marketing automation platforms can’t do an agencies’ job. Smart agencies know marketing automation is a tool to help them to do their job better.
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