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OpenText™ "How can agencies work better with marketers?"
In a recent Adweek webinar sponsored by OpenText™ Hightail™, guest speaker Jay Pattisall, Forrester principal analyst and former agency executive, shared that agencies need to “become more nimble and responsive to their [marketing] clients to help them meet their need for growth and their need to be more customer-centric.” He added that marketers are prioritizing “customer obsession,” because companies that are customer obsessed are more likely to be more profitable and are “in a better position to serve and retain their customers and grow.” In fact, Forrester’s research indicates 42% of customer-obsessed companies grew their revenues by 10% or more within a year.
But how can agencies balance customer-first strategies with the need to be nimble?
In a follow-up interview, Pattisall said that agencies are streamlining their processes to drive customer-obsessed strategies for their clients by:
- Cultivating progressive leaders. Agencies need a new kind of leadership commitment, one that develops leaders with multidimensional skillsets that include business strategy, client management and practitioner skillsets. Armed with such leaders, agencies are in a position to manage bigger client relationships that cross the C-suite and lead global capability practices.
- Assembling agile teams. Chief marketing officers (CMOs) want the best people on their business no matter where they sit inside the organization or in the world. While agencies’ staffing models currently are too rigid to nimbly move people around their organization, they can help drive customer-obsessed strategies by creating mechanisms to move resources and staff across projects, and clients.
- Leveraging technology and platforms. CMOs are rigorously managing costs across marketing services to help fund media campaigns and digital transformation. This threatens agencies’ revenue models, whether media, creative, production or other services. Agencies can help marketers by adopting or building technology to drive efficiency, collaboration, throughput and optimization.
- Aligning financial incentives and structures. CMOs are looking for partners to drive growth and help solve business problems. Agencies’ financial structures and conflicting P&Ls often limit the opportunity to solve these problems. The key is aligning a structure that rewards innovation and outcomes over hours and deliverables.
In addition to his insights into how agencies are streamlining their profiles, Pattisall answered three questions for us on the struggle between niche offerings and stretching core offerings, the need to address siloes and how to get clients on board with agency processes and platforms.
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