#Postback18 Session Recap: Welcome to Agencyland

Becky Doles

Image by Laurel McConnell Photography //

As brands navigate the world of advertising, how are they keeping up with the advancement of marketing technology and the evolving role it plays? Similar to an amusement park, new technology and media loom in the distance like rollercoasters: enticing unknowns full of twists and turns, with entry points that are difficult to locate and strict requirements for participation.

Hello, agencies, or rather your experienced, connected guide to operating this land. Today’s top creative and media agencies are blazing new trails in mobile, performance, and digital marketing. By helping brands align channels, content, and audience interests across new screens and contexts, they’re identifying new paths to deeper customer bonds.

During this session, panelists highlight best practices for getting the most out of agency partnerships and landing breakthrough concepts brands need.

Question: Explain the importance of strategy in the work you’re doing for customers and how that translates to success?

Mick Rigby, Founder & CEO, Yodel Mobile: “We are focused on the marketing funnel, and each month we look at every aspect we can. We then evaluate what impact we can make and focus on 2-3 things we can turn into a marginal gain. If you do it month in and month out over a 12 month period, you’re going to see a big difference.”

Question: How do the realms of data impact the role of a CMO?

Michael Kahn, Global Brand President, Digitas: “If the root of ROI metrics and the ability to tell your story to the board is going to be your data systems and infrastructure, that means more than ever that CMOs have to be chief data officers as well and build out that ecosystem. You need to be able to consistently show the work you’re doing is attributed back to a measurable outcome on behalf of the business and revenue, otherwise you won’t be there.”

Question: As an agency, how are you staying relevant to continue at the top of the field?

Eric Mugnier, SVP North America, M&C Saatchi Mobile: “The digital space, mobile space and other platforms are changing every day. You need to evolve and stay on top of innovation. Clients know their product or service better than anyone else, and agencies tend to know the market on those specific areas better than their clients. Working in very close partnerships is critical, and the best relationships and results are an extension of their team.”

Question: How are you leveraging available information and data to inform customers about a digital transformation?

Al Harnisch, VP of Growth, Prolific Interactive: “It starts by taking the perspective of what the customer journey is. What does that experience look like? How can we reinvent that through a mobile first way so we can have more seamless communication and leverage mobile apps, mobile websites, other websites, etc.”

Image by Laurel McConnell Photography //

Question: Are your customers coming to you talking about OTT as a platform that’s important to you?

Eric Mugnier: “We have clients who are trying to replicate what they’re doing on several other channels. The space right now is obviously very different as far as publishers and platforms, and this is an area that is going to evolve massively over the next few years. Adjusting and adapting to the clients constraints and what they can provide is critical.”

Question: What is the role of agencies, specifically related to marketing technology?

Michael Kahn: “You have to be investing in marketing technology otherwise you’re not adding value to the client as you should be.” 

Question: When it comes to understanding the customers technology and making recommendations, what does that look like in regards to the work you’re doing?

Al Harnisch: “Asses what’s there already and find ways to make them best in class. Taking brands and leveraging tools like TUNE who are taking it beyond mobile and bringing it back into web, email and other experiences, sets our brands up for a best in class set of tools so they can run with a modern approach to advertising. We lay out the capabilities we think they need and recommend the tools.”  
Michael Kahn: “You used to sit down with a brand and ask who their target audience is. Now, we sit down with a client and ask ‘what’s your tech stack and how do you organize your data systems?’ That almost precludes who you are trying to reach.”

Question: What will agencies look like in 10 years?

Michael Kahn: “Consultancies are absolutely a threat. They are buying up activation units so they can now do strategy, tech and message delivery along the way. More of the giant holding companies are creating platforms and are acting more like consultancies. The agent holding companies are bigger and the brands inside it are getting smaller. It’s more about portfolio of the enterprise or rather power of one solution. Agencies have advantage in delivery, connective activation and driving optimization strategies at scale. They have a reason for being and always will. The bar has gone up on how good they can become with data and tech to power those things going forward.”

As top media and creative agencies discover and adapt to new technology, they are guiding brands through this once undiscovered land. Watch the full panel discussion to hear how they’re creating new pathways and writing this ever-changing guide.   

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she handled content strategy and marketing communications at several tech startups in the Bay Area. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned home to Charleston, SC, where you can find her strolling through Hampton Park with her pup and enjoying the simple things between adventures with friends and family.

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