Agency Mania: don’t panic, it’s a good thing! It’s a Mad, Mad “Adtech Martech” World How the Two Worlds are Reshaping Agency/Client Relationships

By Bruno Gralpois, Co-Founder & Principal Agency Mania Solutions. 

The difference between advertising technology and marketing technology relates to the very difference between what role marketing should play and what role advertising should play. They have historically played completely different roles, despite being two sides of the same coin.

Adtech allows for massive prospecting, for building a base, for building a brand.

Martech allows for relationships with people, with individual consumers. Those relationships empower things that are overly complicated in the cookie-based digital channel, things like measurement and attribution in stores.

The bottom line, Adtech prospects the unknown, Martech creates relationships with people that allow for attribution and measurement.

CMO’s have a vested interest in the insights that Martech provides by giving them transparency into every dollar spent. This transparency arms the CMO with the ability to assess the ROI of agency partners, focus on how agency marketing dollars are driving sales outcomes and be conversant across big data, creative and technology. This expanded role, beyond just creative and brand, is quite a difference from the role of a CMO just few years ago.

What does the rise of Martech mean for agencies?
One of the reasons we see Consulting firms, with their fast array of brand, strategy and data analytics solutions, acquiring traditional advertising agencies, is to combine creative, Adtech and Martech under one fully integrated offering.

The AdAge Agency Report 2017 shows US agency revenue growth in 2016 is the slowest it has been since 2013. Brigitte Majewski, Director of Research for Forrester, believes “Agencies have dropped the ball.” “They have not adapted to brands’ increasing data and technology needs. This has given rise to new rivals such as Accenture Interactive and Deloitte Digital.”

Most agency professionals came into the agency world because they wanted to create, connect and communicate, not deal with tools and bits and bits of data! Yet, many admit Martech is essential for success in today’s customer-focused, data driven world.

Jay Haines, CEO of the global executive search firm Grace Blue says, “There are more attractive opportunities today for best-inclass agency talent to go to tech-driven companies, like Facebook and Google and the major consulting firms.”

As agencies increasingly compete with consultancies and tech companies for this best-in-class talent they need to:

• Ensure their recruiting programs, onboarding and recurring training emphasize the business impact Martech will have for their clients.
• Hire marketing technologists/trainers who can teach and inspire agency teams … not always an easy task.
• Leverage the value of Martech to automate mundane tasks that take time away from the more interesting creative work.
• Celebrate Martech “power users” who get it and have made big things happen for your clients. Share their stories with both agency and clients. Leverage them in new business pitches … you know your competition will be doing it.
• Most importantly, share strategies, success stories and learning’s. Keep challenging agency teams to creatively innovate and celebrate new ways to leverage Martech. It will make a difference, not just in acquisition of top talent but in acquisition, retention and growth of clients.

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