Couples become competitive in a relationship
A perfect couple: How agencies can forge successful long-term relationships
The dream wedding of Prince Harry and his Meghan this spring made an impression not only on the British, but also on the rest of the world. In Germany, almost 9 million viewers watched the royal couple enter into the sacred covenant of marriage. But formal oaths of loyalty are not only left to aristocratic families and newly-felled people. Companies also like to enter into long-term relationships and thus benefit from stability, efficiency and lasting success. Of course, this also applies to the media industry, where brands and agencies go together like yin and yang. The key to successful long-term relationships We have all received a lot of well-meaning advice from friends and relatives on how to stay happy and stable over the long term. The tips range from the obvious (communication, openness) to the absurd (make yourself scarce and show who is wearing the pants). At dataxu, we are more familiar with the relationships between brands and agencies than with real lovers. We recently asked advertisers and agencies around the world what skills they expect from their future partners. The agencies surveyed were aware that they had to move with the times in order to be considered as an attractive partner in the future. For the next five years they want to focus on data and TV. 17% said they want to learn more about connected TV and similar new formats. 15% each said they will improve their consulting skills in both creative and strategic areas. This mix shows that agencies want to offer an all-round service in the future. Fortunately, brands look to their agency partners for similar attributes. 33% of the advertisers we surveyed said they were looking for an innovative and creative partner. That is a good thing, because agencies want to place even more value on these properties in the future. Furthermore, 17% said they are looking for a strategic partner who can advise them on any current changes in the industry. The digital transformation in particular will be a challenge in the future - that's why brands need stable relationships with their partner agencies in which both parts complement each other and grow together. Our study shows that many brands and agencies have the same priorities. Over the next five years, both sides are looking for a partner with whom they can work together on creative and strategic projects and thus manage the digital transformation together. Looking to the future together Brands and agencies see that the digital transformation is currently changing the face of the industry. They know that they have to adapt their strategies and processes in order to remain competitive. One of the big issues at the moment is programmatic media buying. Brands are therefore specifically looking for agencies that have the necessary programmatic expertise. 24% of surveyed advertisers said identifying and adopting effective programmatic technologies is their biggest challenge right now. However, many agencies are aware that they have to expand their expertise even further in order to remain a relevant partner in the future. Even though 8 out of 10 of our surveyed agencies (82%) stated that programmatic media buying is part of at least half of their media plans for customers, only 43% see themselves as experts in the field of programmatic so far. The other agencies will have to make an effort not to lose touch. The brands we've spoken to are looking for an agency partner who can provide the expertise they themselves lack. On the subject of desired properties, some advertisers said they are looking for “competent partners” and “more information that is available to me”. So there is a great opportunity here for agencies that can prominently demonstrate their specialist knowledge. This enables them to forge stable, long-term relationships with brands that rely on their expert advice. Brands that want to focus on programmatic media buying are well done to find an agency that is constantly expanding its expertise in this area. Combine the left and right hemispheres of the brain Our surveyed agencies would like a happy long-term relationship - quasi a cozy Friday evening, with a glass of wine in hand, where God and the world are discussed. To get there first, agencies need to make sure they're offering brands the right service. Agencies should work on their creative as well as their strategic characteristics in order to support their brand partners with all challenges in the coming years. One thing is certain: data analysis, especially in the area of programmatic, will gain in importance in the next five years. Agencies should therefore invest now in the necessary skills in order to continue to offer brands the ideal services in the future. This way, they can prevent their long-term partner from swapping them for a newer, better version in a few years. The perfect relationship doesn't just fall from the sky. Agencies and brands first have to get involved in a dating phase in order to find a partner who, like a piece of the puzzle, complements their own strengths and weaknesses and has a similar plan for the future - their media soulmate, so to speak. Only then can they work together in a long-term relationship, develop themselves further and successfully implement new ideas and concepts.
Mike Shaw is VP, EMEA at dataxu and in this role brings his many years of experience in the adtech industry to the area of sales growth.
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