How will the post-digital agency look like?

As the business race to serve the digital shifts in consumer behavior is maturing in the Western world, the point at which the level of digital expertise differentiates Agencies is gradually decreasing.

Forrester has reviewed the digital marketing and agency landscape circa 2013, identifying what marketers will find compelling and recommending to agencies how they should evolve their rosters, structure and business models.

David Cooperstein, research VP for Forrester, summarized the report for Adage, recommending to agencies to redefine their core competencies to help brands succeed in the Age of the Customer and choose one of three strategic approaches to focus their client servicing on, innovator, integrator or implementer:

The innovator

Low-power location sensors, virtual-reality film and video editing and wearable technology are fascinating individually. Combine them and you can change the nature of play, shopping and even work. Businesses that face digital disruption such as this increasingly need help from agencies to out-innovate competitors, create awareness among empowered consumers and redefine the boundaries of customer experiences.Take T3 as an early example. The agency developed a service bridge concept in its innovation lab to revolutionize UPS’s customer service.

This became UPS My Choice, a program that allows UPS customers to reroute packages so they don’t miss deliveries. This type of service will work best for CMOs attempting radical business or product development.

The integrator

Consumers’ short attention spans and cross-platform utilization will become more pronounced in the digital future. Already, spend on digital media will account for 27% of all paid advertising in 2013, according to a Forrester forecast. But marketers will continue to rely on traditional advertising, too. Agencies that can deliver on the entire marketing mix across the customer life cycle — even as the mix of channels evolves — will complete the picture for traditional marketers who need a catalyst to move past push-marketing tactics.

The goal is to deliver on a fully integrated marketing strategy, where the brand and customer experience are not just replicated from channel to channel, message to message, but translated into the most appropriate form for each interaction.

The implementor

The challenge that traditional shops have had supporting demand from marketers is similar to the internal challenges faced by CMOs and CIOs as they try to get their teams to collaborate: They don’t speak a common language in terms of timing, goals and expectations. But implementers can connect these two very different disciplines that now depend on each other more than ever.

For example, IBM connects internal supply chains with eCommerce teams to ensure accurate inventory levels, while SapientNitro builds immersive digital experiences through partnerships with Adobe and acquisitions like Second Story.

You can read the full article at Adage DigitalNext or buy the Forrester Report (be ware that it costs $499 though).

Flickr Photo, Tomorrow Is Yesterday – Futuristic City London, by Simon & his Camera

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