At our recent away day, along with the customary Management Presentation (review of the year, objectives for next and inspiring ...

Consumer immersion, Reithian ideals, teleportation, invisible social and trust – is this the basis for the agency of the future ?


At our recent away day, along with the customary Management Presentation (review of the year, objectives for next and inspiring vision) and less customary Come Dine With Me event in the evening (mostly super tasty results), we asked members of the team to deliver a 5 minute presentation on what the agency of the future looked like starting with a predefined point of view. The team’s presentations were brilliant and the outputs so incredibly interesting we thought it worth sharing.

The agency of the future is all about INSIGHT, by Michaela MacIntyre.

If brands want customers to love them and have an emotional connection with them, then they need to behave like people – not like businesses. This means not just telling customers why they should buy their product, but by demonstrating that they understand them and by doing so build a rapport.

To demonstrate that you understand customers, you need to incorporate insight into all your creative and communications. Strong consumer insight is the spine of any piece of work – without it, you haven’t got a solid brief, which results in poor creative output, and ultimately poor campaign results.

We all need to start thinking like consumers more and there are no excuses. You need to make the effort to go and find the insight by immersing yourself in the audiences’ daily lives and activities. And with the emergence of digital and social media never has this been so diverse yet also so easy to do.

The agency of the future is all about IDEAS, by Ben Carroll.

A more distributed creative process will mean that more creative's will work externally and remotely, controlled by a central creative director within an agency.

Increasingly disparate technologies will necessitate the need for larger pools of talent, working collaboratively to ensure all areas of ability and knowledge are covered - these communities are likely to exist purely online, a more formal and professional version of crowd sourcing.

The gap between purely creative advertising, and the increasingly scientific form of large-scale digital advertising (e.g. Facebook Ads) will increase and differentiate itself.

Overall tone-of-voice for advertising will drastically shift from the outdated urgency of messaging, towards a more informal and honest conversational style. A comparison could be made to the Reithian ideals (Educate / Inform / Entertain) of the BBC.

The agency of the future is all about TECHNOLOGY, by Sam Del-Prete

Teleportation is going to become a reality however that’s some way off so for now the future is Television!

There is a TV is almost every household in the UK and we believe that the future of the TV is certain – they’re here to stay. However the way by which we engage with our TV will change beyond all recognition.

Interactive TV will become apart of every household in the future as it will be able to sync up with other devices such as tablets. These devices will become the most powerful consumer device in the market as their intuitive interfaces and usability means that they are relevant to all ages from child to silver surfers.

Our new interactive TV’s will be able to know and use our personal information and will be able to communicate marketing messages that are personalised to our profiles and relevant to our interests. TV shows, movies and advertisements will sync and talk to a second device (such as the tablet) in order to engage with audiences. Possibilities include online shopping as audience is seeing on screen, interactive sport statistics /replays …

Teleportation is still a dream…for now.

The agency of the future is all about SOCIAL MEDIA, by Brady Polkinghorne

Four key themes;

UBIQUITOUS: The reach of social media will only continue to grow, across all mediums and platforms, some of which don’t even exist yet. This will present new opportunities for a) more commercial outlets and in turn b) new marketing mediums in which to communicate, engage and ultimately sell through (i.e. Zuckerberg Dollars).

COLOSSAL: The current major players (Facebook, Google, Twitter and Youtube) will continue to grow meaning marketing campaigns will no longer be labeled ‘integrated’ as they will have to account for these mediums from the inception of the idea and strategy. They will no longer be an afterthought or “nice to have”, but will instead drive the campaign from the start.

SMARTER: With technology getting more intuitive and constantly getting smarter so do the audience (important note: they should no longer be labeled consumers as this divides who they are as an audience, instead conversations will be king, regardless of whether they are in the market to buy/consume goods, e.g. Twitter, now the world’s best customer service channel). This means advertising and marketers will need to cater for more tech-savvy audiences and include not only great ideas but fresh, exciting new ways of presenting them.

INVISIBLE: Similarly to being everywhere, social media is already on its way to being a ‘normal part of life’. All people will have a touch point of some kind, and it won’t even be a phrase any more, rather it will be normal and assumed that if it’s messaging being taken in, it will be via one of these channels.

GLOBAL: The reach now surpasses any other medium that has existed. This will mean local activity will have to be more targeted and global messaging more considered.

The agency of the future is all about QUANTIFIABLE IMPACT, by Aimee Smith

Many clients feel they don’t know where to turn to for support in this new digital age where they can no longer simply shout about their brand and not listen to consumers. This confusion is compounded by the economic climate as client budgets are being reduced and now have to work harder for them.

Agencies need to deliver quantifiable results for their clients to ensure they build ‘trust’. These quantifiable results help the client to understand the evolving digital landscape, build more trust in the agency and justify ongoing financial investment. This in turn enables the agency to learn, grow and evolve with more innovative and challenging briefs.

The new agency model needs to account for a revised recruitment strategy ensuring a focus on quantifiable results. Not an agency full of analysts however analytical aptitude and understanding across the board is going to be imperative.

The agency of the future will also need to revise its financial model as the time based model loses traction with clients. As effectiveness can now be measured and is quantifiable, the new model will financially reward performance based on success not the hours you put in.

To conclude

The agency of the future is the one that thinks about the themes and challenges and evolves to ensure that they continue to meet client needs. Of course all our predefined starting points (Insight, Ideas, Technology, Social Media and Quantifiable impact) are relevant to every agency today and into the foreseeable future. However the way in which they are relevant has changed and will continue to do so as the media landscape continues to evolve, with us the people leading the way.

For us the agencies that win in the future will be those who are able to uncover insights, create brilliant ideas and execute these seamlessly across established and emerging technical and social platforms with a quantifiable impact. Easier said than done of course.

So here at Gravity Thinking we’ll be looking to do just this over the coming months in order to evolve and maintain the benefits and value that we currently offer to our clients. Our belief in our talented people as well as a strong independent culture based on being Genuine, Agile, Astute, Infectious, Confident and most importantly Devoted mean that we’re well placed to succeed.

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