Lisa Leicester is Social Manager in OMD Word, navigating the world of social influence and emerging communications platforms.
I’ve been working within an agency for one and a half years now, and loving every minute of it. Working in the social media team (OMD Word) there’s constant newness, whether it be new creative format choices on Facebook or Instagram or completely new channels such as Snapchat.
It’s a very exciting time to be working in media with each day completely different to the last.
With our media changing rapidly and constant discussion around what’s new, it makes you think, what are we doing within agencies to match this rate of change? Are we keeping up with the times?
Enter B&T’s Towards 2030 forum.
The forum attracted every media industry person under the sun including myself (so long as you were under 30). B&T challenged us to answer a simple (yet when you think about it not so simple) question.
What will the agency of the future look like?
Prior to the forum this wasn’t a question I had ever been asked or even thought about. I’m often so caught up in the whirlwind of today that I put future thinking on the back burner. Besides, wasn’t this what our senior team are for?
But if we were talking about the year 2030 then it was going to be the people at this forum, sitting next to me, possibly me(!) that would form the future senior team.
Luckily this wasn’t a question we had to answer alone. Instead we were grouped together with others from varying media backgrounds (PR, planners, buyers, marketing, strategy etc), so we each came with different views on what was currently working and what needed improvement.
From there each team created their agency model which we then had to pitch back to a panel.
After every group had pitched, it was evident where the future of agencies was. In every single pitch that was presented we saw varying financial structures and ways of working. One group even pitched to have an airplane at their disposal (a nice-to-have) and another to have a Tinder like selection process for clients.
The one commonality between the pitches was… PEOPLE.
You can understand why we all placed such a high importance on people. Most clients choose people not necessarily the work the people will produce. A massive part of what we already do is building and maintaining relationships.
So, what is the next evolution of being people focused?
We all believed that “people” should not only encompass the people in the agency, but the people outside the agency. The clients, the suppliers, the creative and any other person you might work with.
Instead of being in separate bubbles we need to create closer ties and in turn have a more open relationship.
This meant two things:
- Get to know the client better, treat them as a team member, understand their problems beyond media, upskill them so the work becomes more insightful to them.
- Get the client to know us better, have them treat us like a team member, have them understand our problems beyond media, upskill us so their business becomes more insightful to us.
With this bigger focus on people, everyone wins.
How does this future idea of agency life impact me today though?
Moving forward I’m going to place a higher importance on the relationships I have. I’m going to get to know my clients on a more personal level and asks questions about their work beyond what impacts me directly.
The future can only be attained if we start working towards it today.