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What Does the Future Hold for Agencies? 3 Leaders Weigh In


Do you remember what agencies looked like five years ago?

Whether you’re new to agency life or a seasoned veteran in
the industry, you know that the agency space is constantly
changing. And as the business develops, so too do areas for
innovation.

We asked three agency leaders to weigh in on how they
see the industry evolving over the next five years. 

Drawing from their own personal experiences, they share their
predictions below. Learn what they forsee as
the biggest areas of disruption for your agency to
capitalize on.

What Does the Future Hold for Agencies?

Like marketing teams, agencies are going to be more and more
accountable to tying their efforts to business outcomes, such
as revenue funnels or target account qualification metrics.
Also like modern marketers, the best agencies will be able to
work across all integrated sales and marketing channels, and
do so from planning to execution to data analytics – to help
customers solve their business and marketing challenges.

With the explosion of MarTech, marketers are taking on more
and more responsibility for closed loop marketing data. The
responsibility for data is shifting from IT to marketers, and
this represents an opportunity for agencies to assist their
customers in connecting and synchronizing data across their
multitude of systems, to power the analytics and optimization
needed to drive growth.

— Zak Pines, VP of Marketing at Bedrock
Data
[1]

The agency space must evolve where it’s specialized and can
adapt to the trend that most companies are looking to bring
things in-house due to speed, costs, and their own closeness
to the brand. As larger clients typically have the two top
parts of their budget to paid media and content, agencies
will evolve by specializing in producing more branded content
on certain platforms (like Snapchat or VR) and/or find better
ways to get paid media in front of customers.

The biggest area of disruption is finding ways to
commercialize new technologies for VR/AR where small
bootstrapped agencies can create experiences for small local
businesses. Right now, VR/AR is a trending subject but not
necessarily as easily adopted into a company’s marketing
plan.

— Kenny Nguyen, CEO at Three Sixty
Eight
[2]

With the increase in tracking, analytics, and customer
acquisition attribution there is much more accountability
around what is working and what is not with marketing and
sales efforts. This accountability is slowly bringing these
two departments (marketing and sales) closer together.
Meaning there is going to be a movement of “lead generation”
agencies that will move closer into the CRM
implementation/usage space; basically they will move into
Sales Enablement.

The real value for sales and marketing managers/VPs is going
to be in decreasing lead response times, understanding sales
qualified lead attribution, and knowing days to close
reporting metrics. Agencies that are not helping contribute
or provide increased insight will quickly be passed over for
the firms that are providing this value.

The biggest area of disruption is tied closest to new revenue
and new customer onboarding. Since the way people buy has
changed so much with the increased accessibility of
information, buyers’ expectations and knowledge have grown
significantly.

If companies do not heavily focus on aligning purchase
expectations (i.e. what was promised or committed to the
buyer by the sales person) with the customer success team,
then the chance of a new customer having buyer’s remorse and
churning is very high.

Best way to make this alignment tangible is through helping
the sales team accurately document and distribute information
to the customer success team. Investing in 1) processes and
structure around documented systems and 2) tools to automate
these manual processes will help make it scalable.

— Josh Harcus, Director of Channel at PandaDoc[3]