/// Agency’s Role Should Be Agency

November 29, 2010  |  Blog

By JOHN MCBRIDE

The role of agencies? Agency!

Seriously, isn’t all this talk of the “role of agencies in the new digital age” like asking about the role of the waiter when the menu changes?
Borrowing geek parlance, we are amidst massive technology substitution. Digital technology is spurring rapid innovation across consumer, business, and marketing spheres. This is when the game changes fast – new players emerge, dynasties falter, and rules are re-written. So while it’s not surprising to hear the cacophony of questions of where to look next – this isn’t unique, go back to the dawn of TV.

Correspondingly, to create relevance and desire for increasingly savvy consume rs, brands need intimate proximity to the nuances of consumer cultures. If they don’t get it right, consumers spot the pretender and dismiss brands as fake and insincere.

Brands should EXPECT their agency partners to be nimble and visionary – fluent with a rapidly changing landscape. These are mandatory ingredients to enable compelling and persuasive consumer experiences.

Importantly though, brands should SEEK agency partners that get it – deeply coupled with diverse cultural passions – marrying experience innovation with human understanding to properly translate and develop authentic and meaningful brand stories.

Agency’s role should be agency – working on behalf of the brand to provide what it can’t – an outsider that navigates change, providing a vital POV that catalyzes value creation in business opportunity.

John is DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY at  TRANSLATION an IPG company.

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