Value Creation: What Clients Want From Agency Partners

Paul Calderbank, Former Viget

Article Category: #Strategy

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According to new research published by The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA), marketers value these three characteristics above all others in their agencies and partners:

  • Marketing creativity
  • Product / service innovation
  • Expertise in emerging trends

The latest issue of the SoDA Report examines the concept of value -- exploring value creation and value delivery from a wide variety of perspectives. It includes a Digital Marketing Outook research study conducted by EConsultancy, which asks how are agencies, production companies, brands, and technologies creating and delivering value, or working to develop entirely new value systems?

SoDA Report Cover Image.jpg

Clients are keenly aware that from strategy, to customer experience, to reputation management, their success is intricately tied to their ability to create engaging and meaningful experiences across whatever platforms make the most sense for their brand. An ever increasing number of those platforms are now rooted in technology. However, many agencies and SaaS developers will agree that there is a significant gap between what technology can do, and what we are currently doing with technology to provide real business and consumer value.

A growing number of clients are working with small rosters of specialized digital shops with strong technical capabilities (like Viget) to focus on specific digital marketing initiatives and gain a competitive edge. The report highlights that nearly 70% of brands surveyed believe being seen as an early adopter of new technologies in their marketing efforts is key or important to their brand position.

Other areas where clients are seeking more help from their agencies include data management and training. As the volume of data available to marketers becomes increasingly larger, clients are searching for deeper levels of understanding and actionable insights. What good is all that data if it doesn't help you make better decisions? And as brands continue to build their own in-house digital teams, they are looking for agencies to provide education and training services to help those teams become more knowledgable and independent. 

As a relatively new member of SoDA, we’re honored to have some of our work with Dick's Sporting Goods featured on the first page of the Report’s showcase section (p. 168), alongside other great agencies doing remarkable things for world renowned brands, such as Amex, Nike, Adobe, EA Sports, Walmart, and BMW.

A few that really caught my eye and which I thought tied back nicely to the takeaways from the Outlook report are:

Lifesize Messi / EA Sports FIFA ’14: A great example of marketing creativity.

The world’s first true to life, living responsive avatar, created from hundreds of high rez photos and mapped to mimic and reflect human actions, blended with artificial intelligence.

Lono: Smart product innovation.

Lono is an internet-enabled sprinkler controller which lets homeowners control their sprinkler-systems with their smartphones, like Nest for sprinklers.

Google Racer Installation: A finger on the pulse of emerging trends.

Racer is a multi-player device game that can be played on any series of devices running in the Chrome browser. The Racer installation was developed to extend gameplay past the surface of mobile devices and onto a huge multi-player digital canvas.

There are many more great projects and ideas captured in the full 236 page report. I encourage you to have a look for yourself.

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