Increasingly we are seeing reports which herald a more positive economic outlook. Avoiding the ominous double-dip which looms in the wings, a brighter horizon is a very real possibility. While this warrants some restrained relief, we in the agency world need to recognize that a change in approach is required to stay ahead of the game. The recession has been, and continues to be, a stressful time in which we have put our B2B heads on firmly, assessing, calculating and avoiding over-aggressive strategies to safeguard the future. What these positive reports afford us, however, is a huge signpost that now is the time to come out from this cautious, though correct, management and look to how this new economic era will affect what we do and how we do it.
We can’t assume that life will revert to a mirror image of before the economic difficulty – everyone has learnt some hard lessons from tougher times and these will stay with agencies and clients alike moving forward. What we need to do is assess how the agency model will adopt to this new environment and evolving client needs.
In the agency world, people are our lifeblood. They are what the client buys in to and what determines the success of a client relationship and our research has shown that this is only going to increase in the future. An in-depth survey of leading brand marketers has revealed that brands are increasingly looking for top talent to be more involved in the day to day delivery of client work. It is not enough for them to be involved at the pitch stage and then take a back seat.
As brands demand more bang for their buck, agencies need to work hard not only to attract the right people but to ensure these recruits are put to work in the right way for the client. This issue is the tip of the iceberg as to the considerations that we need to make in the coming months but it’s a great place to start in ensuring that we all make the most of the opportunities and challenges coming our way.
Chief Operations Officer