Don’t be left behind – agencies need to change.

Financial pressure, data, customer demands, talent, technology—all these are changing rapidly. The actual questions to ask are: What will agencies have to do to stay ahead of this incessantly shifting industry? And what does the agency of tomorrow look like, anyway?

No soothsayer can tell what any one agency will look like. But what we can predict is that there must be a willingness for them to be more open to the current needs. Only the ones who do this will survive.

Experts agree that agencies will have to meet several new incoming trends and challenges. One of them – customer data, which keeps transforming the market. Brands won’t just need data strategies but also the right software to allow them to analyse the data, and that’s where the agencies come in.

Some of the traditional agencies don’t rely on data since they’re so focused on the creative edge. That unfortunately won’t suffice anymore. The future will be about combining creativity with data, which means agencies will have to make sure they have adequate staff that can dissect data in creative ways.

Some of the obvious areas that agencies would need to concentrate on – to make sure they’re ready for the future – will include AI and voice. It’s important for them to stay up to date with trends because their clients won’t necessarily. The good news for agencies that jump on the bandwagon is they will gather insights along the way.

The bottom line is that there is not one right model to use because marketers’ challenges and the technology landscape will keep changing. But if we had to bet, we’d put our money on creative excellence built on business intelligence (data) – this being the cornerstone for agencies of the future.

To sum this up, ‘It was the best of the times, it was the worst of times’ – the opening sentence in Charles Dickens’ 1859 novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.

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