With emphasis on the word draft....
Designing a new agency/collaborative.
Although agencies are not finished – relatively recent operating models are, I think. In industries and clients where success measures have changed (I mean really – nobody honestly has a fucking clear idea on what ‘engagement’ means) – to very fluid, transparent interpretations of success – agencies need to be able to equally be fluid – and existing operating models, structures and mindsets can’t cope with this client need – hence in-house teams.
The thinking (what I’ve seen and heard) is a focus on creating an ‘agency’, so you naturally create an agency mindset on the inside and an agency perception on the outside. I think the days (certainly away from the top table of agencies) of being an ‘agency’ are over and the model requires a repositioning and a new focus.
You can’t service these customers fluid needs and wants with an historical agency set-up, mindset and skillset.
The absolute hot spot in terms of the agency model, client thinking, customer needs and tech capabilities is linking data and creative to potentially understand and meet the customer intention.
Data – is a retrospective view on behaviour.
Creative – is a forward looking ‘assumed’ move and plan to drive behaviour
Being able to not drive behaviour but understand the intention is an incredibly subtle but important difference and changes the focus of the offering and moves any group further upstream in terms of the ability to persuade and influence a client offering.
Personalisation is the physical incarnation of understanding behaviour, right? A customer does ‘this’ and we show them ‘that’ – and then we’ll try and get them to do what we want – we’ll take them down a path that we have defined and decided on in effect. That might work for buying a pair of shoes, but it doesn’t work for building trust, loyalty respect and LTV.
Understanding and supporting a customer intention in a more discreet way – does. An intention is usually (I say usually) a positive emotion, so rather than immediately changing behaviour by ‘doing’ personalisation in the current way – i.e. behavioural models (buttons, forms, social media and other standard UX patterns and messaging) that drive behaviour, why not define an experience that reinforces the intention?
Again, when selling a pair of shoes – this is limited in its differential, but when building a brand online, selling a B2B product or developing a message, proposition or need – meeting an intention (whether that intention has been created by power messaging or other brand marketing ) is something different and (in my mind anyway) a more transparent and ultimately for the customer, more fulfilling way of experiencing a business and a brand.
You need from day one;
· Data Scientists.
· CX professionals
· Behavioural Scientists.
· Core API builders and developers.
Anyway, I have loads more running through my brain on this – if you want more let me know – if you think this is shit – also let me know, so I can fulminate some more.