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franklinozekhome presents

FUTURE OF

AGENCY A franklinozekhomeÂŽ e-report!


theandnetwork™

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franklinozekhome presents

FUTURE OF

AGENCY

INSPIRED BY


Frenetic pace of Agency lifestyle Š Droga5


A franklinozekhome® e-report! © franklinozekhome® Future of Agency is a product of theandnetwork™ and Identiture® PUBLISHING. This report contains opinions, estimates, and forward-looking statements by members of theandnetwork. Statements are personal opinions of the individuals quoted.


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Intro In April, I started working on the follow-up to Evolve: Agency 5.0 - a revolutionary whitepaper I had written in 2010 - inspired by Tim Brown's Change by Design. While facilitating a knowledge session for an advertising agency on global marketing trends, I had reiterated the need for a new agency paradigm. Rightly, as the workshop progressed, concerns were raised about what should be the correct appellation for the word “agency”. Was the term out-dated? If so, what of the services they had become so used to offering? Would that have to change too? “Do we still want to be known as an advertising agency?” A senior copy writer had asked. “What if marketers or journalists described us as a Creative agency? Would that justify the scope of services that were being offered to clients?” She looked perplexed; I could see the worry lines etched deeply on her forehead as she looked around at the other participants, hoping for a divine answer.

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Another participant at the workshop posited: “Perhaps, we should delete the ‘agency’ tag, and instead, be known as a 'Marketing Communications Consultancy', or perhaps, a 'Total solutions provider'. 'Marketing Solutions Company', anyone?” And it went on and on. Needless to say, we didn’t come up with the answer that morning. However, it ignited in the agency heads, the resolve to clarify how they intended to bridge the gap from WHO THEY WERE and WHAT THEY DID to WHAT THEY

WANTED TO BECOME. I decided to take the conversation further via my online audience networks, and posed the teaser:

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Someday, clients will pitch for agencies. Agencies run by creative minds at

Orange Academy.

*This quote was adapted from Toheeb Balogun’s Facebook status message.*

The response was immediate; but I wanted a lot more contributions from industry practitioners. What were their positions on this thorny issue {ala the evolution of agencies}? A topic that never seemed to go away, but continually reared its ugly head ever since “digital” became a trending topic in marketing + advertising circles.

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Orange Academy/ Africa’s 1st school of Integrated Brand Experience/ cluborangeng.com

The workshop turned out to be a blessing and became a key resource in developing the twenty-eleven edition of Evolve: Agency 5.0, which also fueled the need to develop the Future of Agency report.

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The FOA report is only the first step in sharing knowledge and resources with people who are passionate about understanding the various nuances and underlying issues revolving around agencies in the marketing communications industry.

In the coming months, a series of Future Of Agency interactive workshops will be held across key cities in the U.S., Africa, and Europe, incorporating thoughts, suggestions, and ideas from likeminds around the world. Please flip through this deck to view commentaries from members of theandnetwork. You are welcome to join our online community and participate in this discussion at www.franklinozekhome.com/innovation.

Enjoy the report. franklinozekhome

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Welcome to the 1st edition of the Future of Agency Report inspired by theandnetwork.

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In May 2011, I was flipping through Advertising Age’s “The Agency Issue”, and became intrigued with the byline on the cover page:

The writer, Matthew Creamer, had successfully voiced out on a global scale - what I had been shouting hoarse to industry practitioners for the past several years. Ad agencies - everywhere – were being forced to rethink! their business models as the landscape continually evolved with newer technologies, cooler brands with funkier packaging and storytelling techniques, which in turn influenced consumer perception, behaviour + preferences. If agencies did not adapt to these changes and face the realities onground, they would definitely become extinct like dinosaurs! It was only a matter of time. Fellow creative strategists - Jesse Adeniji, Fernando Palacios, Adebola Babatunde, Tunde Olaifa, and Doyin Oduwole – based in different parts of the world – New York, London, Sao Paulo, Lagos, Hamburg - come together to leverage glocal insights and offer opinions + perspectives on issues that marketing communication agencies need to address to enable them transform quickly into dynamic and enexperience brands-in-motion.

Adage.com

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Jesse Adeniji is a brand strategist based in London and the Principal Consultant at Jessemay Consulting.

The picture of the future is usually developed in the dark rooms of the past and exposed in the light of the present. In the Nigerian context, we have to understand where we’re coming from, what our influences are, and use the aspirations and sweats of the present to see where we fit in the global scheme of things. That’s when we can bring in our own unique character into the blend.

Follow @ http://jesseworks.blogspot.com

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The Past. Some years ago, while working as a copywriter with LTC/JWT Lagos, I was part of the Unilever brand team {consists of agency + Unilever team} on Lux, a senior colleague from the Unilever side shared with us a little red book that detailed 10 nugget points which summarizes the best practices Unilever as a company strives to attain to, in order to truly dominate their sphere in the global scheme. That ‘senior colleague’ reiterated in no small way the need for absolute confidentiality in making sure the content of the little red book stayed within the walls of the agency. She only fell short of asking us to guard the book with our very lives.

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The irony was, those 10 points were actually from Coca-Cola! And the Unilever folks figured if they can replicate Coke’s success in just about 6 critical areas, they’d be content. It was all bemusing for me. But as I couldn’t offer any concrete alternate view at that moment, I kept silent. After all, the conduct of most

of the clients in Nigeria was one of we-know-better-because-we’re-the-client. But I couldn’t shake off the nagging feeling that if thousands of Coke people and their affiliates already knew about these ‘nuggets’, it couldn’t have been so ‘secret’.

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This scenario points to the strangle-hold of client on the essential information needed to get the best out of the agency for the brands they worked on. The relationship has not been one of mutual and equal colleagues working together with mutual respect. One had to swallow such indignities because the agencies relied largely on the research and insights filtering through from the clients. I believe that is a result of the lack of belief by the agencies in the notion that IDEAS are the currency of creativity. As such, no investment was considered in ground-breaking research, in being at the forefront of emergent ideas in the requisite fields. Maybe that position was engendered by the fact that most agency owners were from the client-service background and therefore, saw everything from the point of the cash register. The practice of making commissions from media and production almost completely overshadowed the real commodity expected of agencies – Ideas; partnering with the clients to deliver ground-breaking ideas for the brands to connect with the people. As such, the client had a field day picking apart the

agencies. They’d call for unpaid-for pitches and countless agencies would sheepishly go there and offer away their bread and butter, hoping against all odds that they secured the business, or a slice of the account, and then ‘dream’ of recouping their ‘investments’ via the usual suspects – media and production commission.

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Only once in nine long years was an agency I worked at given a major account on the strength of works done in the past. It was always long drawn-out pitches that took the adequate care and attention off the resident brands. The continuous overdependence on commission-making when the paradigm had shifted globally definitely hurt the leading agencies and did little to differentiate them from the start-ups. Real strategic thinking wasn’t what was always on sale at pitches. It was the aesthetics of the print works! The use of proprietary tools, used to benchmark the best practices by the global ad agencies only got introduced to Nigeria in the early 2000s. It took another 5 years or so to become entrenched in the top 10 agencies. Planning/ Strategy departments only started showing up well into the mid 2000s. Even when the ‘affiliation’ craze caught on, and agencies started unburdening the component parts – Media, BTL, PR – and trying to make the core of the agency business creative, it was still all a mess. It’s not very often you see the client bewildered by the atomisation of advertising ideas, which should ordinarily be integrated and media-neutral, underscored by completely different ideas from each component units.

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The agency might tell you they operate a ‘360 degrees’ approach but rarely do they co-ordinate the component units to think as one and provide a seamless through-the-line thinking. On the flip side of all these, of course, is the peculiar nature of clients in that clime. Some

foreign ones on one hand are so disdainful they kept ramming the materials developed for other markets down the throats of the Nigerian targets. A few powerful national ones, on the other hand, are populated with overbearing CMOs and brand managers. Some even go as far as to rewrite scripts and dump the copywriters behind on a TV shoot. Of course, not all of them behave this way. There were always the roses in a bush of thorns that operated like in the developed world. And those who are thoroughly professional I must say, from experience, are less than 30%. The fallout of this chaotic environment is the institutionalisation of ‘grab the cash’ mentality. Creativity and edge-of-the-row research was relegated to the background. Agency staffs disillusioned with their current predicament often resign positions to start their own agencies. Soon, they also will become more feral than their alma mater agencies. The unnecessary proliferation even makes it difficult to gain the client’s respect. That creates opportunity for some very corrupt clients to deliberately side-step established agencies to award portfolios to emergent ones in a bid to extort huge sums of kick-back from them.

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While we were at this sorry juncture in our creative history in Nigeria, South Africa was flexing its fledging muscles carting off awards at Cannes and all over the world. Some of their best hands were being poached all over Europe. They were getting worldwide accolades and recognition. South Africa joined the frontline cadre of elite nations looked up to for cutting-edge solutions to tough branding conundrums. Around this time too, Brazil, India, Korean and Japanese creative hubs were gaining global recognition by sharing honours with the entrenched European powerhouses.

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© “The Zimbabwean” by South African agency TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris/ tbwa.co.za

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Was that how it had always been for the South Africans?

No! Graeme Butchart {www.graemebutchart.com}, the Creative Director I worked with at Rosabel Leo Burnett in 2005, reckoned that Nigeria was at the same cross-roads South Africa was in the 70s and that it will take the agencies making very radical change to become the pivotal point in the communication chain; using the power of ideas and revolutionary research to produce work that will change the master-servant system that existed between the Nigerian agencies and the clients in a mutually beneficial situation where both see each other as custodians of the brand, administering it to the ultimate owners, the people.

Graeme Butchart

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Way back, the South African agencies suffered from a similar fate as those in Nigeria. To change the status-quo, they made good use of the resources they had to get better than the marketers and gain respect through the adoption of global standards and bold, original creativity that took elements from the local environment but executed along world-class benchmarks. That marked the beginning of their rise in the creative world. For instance, Jupiter Drawing Room, a South African agency that developed the knack for great work and independent spirit, which remains today the only agency in Africa to buy over a local arm of a global advertising concern DDB. That great act was just as spectacular as when they fired a couple of their old clients for not being compatible with the dreams and aspirations they were building. The trick they used? Repositioning the arrogant clients of the day, by being a step ahead and making them actually need the agency. Find the detail of the DDB take-over here http://www.adbrands.net/za/jupiterdrawingroom_za

Š Bushmills Irish Whisky ad by Jupiter Drawing Room

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Some agencies have really upped the game in Nigeria in the last 8 years. I will be forced to admit the leadership of Prima Garnet Ogilvy and Insight Communications [aka InsightGrey] in the area of rebuffing the excesses of some clients - but a lot needs to be done still as we define the basis for our global emergence. At least, no Nigerian agency has won a Cannes Lion nor actually bought off a piece of any global agency.

Prima Garnet in focus

Some might criticise my position on the basis of the very nature of the broader societal challenges and the need to earn a living. I admit it’s tough but I do believe there’s so much to be earned by the agency that will take the lead in redefining the cultural/creative/intellectual context of the marcomms business in Nigeria. While we struggle to grasp the nitty-gritty of the emergent ideas and convergence of technology, globalisation, innovation, the environment issue and human behavioural patterns, the agencies also need to start preparing for a new wave of change. © Total ad by Insight Communications

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Before going to publish Contagious in 2004, Kemp Robertson had held the position of VP/Global director of creative resources at Leo Burnett Worldwide. He spoke about the ‘death’ of traditional advertising and the strangle-hold the twin variables of rapid technological advancement in almost all facets of life and the human behavioural response to them.

Upon my return from the Leo Burnett University EMEA for the 7+ Course at the tail end of 2006, I made a presentation to the board of Rosabel, proposing an almost complete overhaul of the traditional model of operation, similar to what was happening in other parts of the world. I had listened to Paul Kemp-Robertson, the editor of the hugely acclaimed global marketing intelligence magazine, Contagious.

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The major trend was the cataclysmic shift towards branded content; mobile marketing; social networking; user-generated content; word of mouth; viral; interactive; blogs; video games; retail initiatives; design innovations and emerging technologies; how all of these were strengthening the theory of convergence and how the consumers were responding.

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Digital marketing was virtually overhauling the traditional marketing techniques and the shift of advertising budget in more volumes towards the former became a proof that this wasn’t a passing fad.

I told the top-guns at Rosabel that the role of agency has changed from the ‘producer of creatives’ to ‘gatekeepers of the new knowledge and digital economy’. I made it clear to them that the agency that will succeed will be the one that stood at the very edge of knowledge of the technology emerging and clearly understand how it relates to the consumers. I added that the capacity to develop media-neutral ideas with great story-telling technique across the channels will be the key to success. Bakedin: Creating Products and Businesses That Market Themselves by Alex Bogusky and John Winsor

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Little attention was paid to my proposal. Today, we find the ‘marketing’ of brands built into the products themselves by the manufacturers. They are also heavily involved in research to determine what the consumer and market trends are and are no strangers to the geek speak of marketing.

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Take the iPhone for instance it was a learning experience from the Mac and the iPod all rolled into mobile telephony. It also incorporated learning from games, web 2.0, social media and user-generated content and design innovation via the strategic alliance with the app design community, who have been responsible for the soar-away success of the iPhone. Microsoft, with its foray into the OS platforms for mobiles is lagging behind rather abysmally because it just can’t command the type of app base found in Apple mobile devices. As such, communication of the Apple mobile devices is just reeled like an ongoing communication between friends. Not some crafty copywriting or fancy photography..........it’s beyond that. It’s a connection between the brand and their way of life. It’s about offering continuous solutions to everyday problem. And the conversation carries on. This means the process of marketing communication is daily being woven into the client organisational process itself. As such, agencies must be the gatekeepers of consumer knowledge from a continuous, ongoing conversation.

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At this stage the example of Wieden + Kennedy comes to mind. It’s an agency that builds its reputation on creatively starting and maintaining conversations between brands and targets in very, very creative ways by using non-traditional marketing techniques. They also stayed at the very edge of the quickly shifting sands of technological advancement and consumer behavioural metrics. Are we at this stage in Nigeria? I think not. Today most agencies are still green on digital and social marketing. That’s despite the fact that the internet penetration density is increasing every day.

60% of all internet access done in Nigeria is via the mobile platform. Less than 10% of all marketing done involved digital and social media marketing. Almost nothing is heard of about games and location-based initiatives. Most advertisers do not have social media presence or treat the little they have as an afterthought in a country where 60% of the population are under 40. Coca-Cola just appropriated 6% of its global marketing spend to social media. That’s instructive.

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Ad by Wieden+Kennedy

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Ads by Wieden+Kennedy

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Roiworld.com

Leapfrog Zippity Platform/leapfrog.co.uk

The scenario where digital, mobile and social media is still taking baby steps says a lot about the intentions of the big agencies. In other climes, the likes of Bournvita and Milo should actually be spending big on game platforms for kids!

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The Future To understand the agency of tomorrow, we have to understand what the brand of tomorrow will look like. The brand values have changed. The engagement dynamics have changed too. The learning is continuous and rapid. I particularly like the Johan Ronnestam’s take on the shifting paradigms. I’d borrow a few leaves from him. Yesterday Brand Values

Today’s Brand Values {substitute for YBV}

Brand promise Offer Control Stability Monopoly Brand positioning Product development Structural bindings Marketing Customers

Brand fulfilment Interactivity Transparency Adaption Creative Execution Perceived Brand Positioning Fan Based Innovations Trust Entertainment Followers

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Brand Promise to Fulfilment Before now, we spent so much time thinking about creating a large customer base by selling unique propositions. Nowadays, customers via technology, have the power to run price-runner sites, read peer reviews, blogs and swap information on the social media networks. Nothing is unique; so you’d better make sure you’re fulfilling the promise and being at the forefront of finding more ways of fulfilling future expectations.

Offer to Interactivity The continuous fixation on new offers, new products and services as a one-way street will weaken your brand eventually. The future of brand development will not be about the story of the Unilever executive I had mentioned earlier. Innovation will not be the closet operation of client and agency cooking something for the atomised consumer. It will be a coownership between the brand people on one hand, and the consumer on the other. We will have to learn from brands like Starbucks, Dell and Zappos. See what Starbucks did with www.Mystarbucksidea.com and Dell with www.ideastorm.com.

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Dominos’ Zap Electric Car

I see a lot of African brands still wanting to hide information from the public about their brands and wanting to be in control. Well, the asynchrony of social media networks and the power of Google will make mockery of that. People are having conversations on various news and social networking sites and a little error that might have gone unnoticed in the past can bring down a brand. You’ve got to join the conversation. Ryan Giggs was unmasked on Twitter despite taking out a superinjunction. Dominos Pizza obviously has taken this into account when they’re speeding up the process of replying to a consumer called @interactiveamy on Twitter. Amy Korin who had some problems with her Pizza Delivery earlier this year got answered within 24 hours. A video apology from @Ramon_DeLeon quickly solved the situation. The sheer immediacy of social media means you can’t ignore the conversation and if your brand comes out to deny an obvious situation like the Nigerian politicians are wont to do, the wildfire of scandal will spread further and affect your business.

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Ryan Giggs

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Stability to Adaption Open Source applications and democratisation of technology is opening up new boundaries. In the past Albums were released and a tour was used to promote them. Technology + lifestyle change has happened all that. Today, albums are released to get in on the lucrative road tours!

That’s how the Justin Bieber legend was forged.

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Jay-Z performing at a Live nation concert

CD sales have dropped dramatically and people no longer buy the whole album. Budding artistes can make cheap music with cheap cameras and post on YouTube. If a lot of people like their stuff, the recording labels will be knocking on their doors.

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Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola thought mobile phone designs were the in-thing. Apple and HTC have unseated them by simply democratising ownership with their community of app developers. Within 5 years, you’d be able to print LEGO from your 3D printer at home at the cost of a printed paper. Would LEGO own the right to a 3D printout? Your guess is as good as mine.

The brand of the future will be the one that can adapt and wound its way around emergent technology and human behaviour. Ethical and environmental issues are the ones for today. We await the complexities of tomorrow.

We all know even work has changed from what you do to who you are.

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Monopoly to Creative Execution We all have to own up to an emergent fact – Nothing can be owned. The amazing level of parity is levelling out real advantages, including the economic need to merge. What is the difference between a top of the range HTC phone and an iPhone? Little. There’s virtually nothing you can do on one that you can’t do on another. The edge one might have over the other, of course, is in the creative execution. How do you package your products and services? How do you communicate? How do you entertain us? How do you stay fun to be with? How can you make our day better? Focus on the values that makes us talk about your brand - in a positive way.

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to

Perceived

Brand

Quite a lot of consumers already know what they want from a brand by doing their own research online {that’s the reason why most website strategies still revolve round providing a whole gamut of information regarding the brand and socially optimizing them}, talking to their friends and loved ones, reading peer reviews, and generally shopping around for opinion. That’s irrespective of how much you spend ‘positioning’ your brand. In effect, people enter a relationship with your brand based on what others say about you – not what you say. A study of the Brian Solis social flower model will help see if you’re getting a favourable share of voice out there by starting a conversation.

Maarten Schafer, CoolBrands: Using storytelling to bridge the gap between brand identity and brand perception

Your brand needs to distribute its marketing, provide content, and applications free to stimulate preference via the voices of millions of targets in regular conversations out there – the very voices that will be decisive to how you’re perceived.

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Product Development to Fan Based Innovations The iPhone became successful because of the army of fans who loved it so much they started creating applications to make it better. www.threadless.com sells t-shirts made by the visitors to their website. Nike Air designs are done online by the fans and sold to them in return. We are in the age of crowdsourcing where people from different backgrounds and locations work together online to finish a project. Millions of folks maintain and update the Wikipedia site for free.

Smart brands reach out and deliver tools that make the brand and the fans become co-creators of future products. Foursquare, the location based business social media platform and Facebook’s modifications have largely been achieved by our collective behavioural patterns tracked over time.

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Structural Bindings to Trust Many brands, especially in telecoms and financial services, bind customers into long and medium-term contracts. One example of the absurdity of that practice is the Telcos. The rate at which technology changes will see a customer’s phone and services obsolete by the time the contract ends. That will be one angry and vindictive customer. The European Union just passed a law restricting this kind of practice. Beyond the power of laws, the brand will be actively breeding haters and disgruntled customers that will say all sorts of negative things on the social media networks and to their friends. Plusnet, a telco in the Yorkshire area of the UK, is now offering no-contract offers. That’s the future. Even the government of the UK is putting more laws in place to make sure customers can switch bank accounts very easily. Future brands will be

built on relations, trust and loyalty of the BRAND to the customer. I see a lot of Nigerian promos running with the idea that they’re ‘rewarding’ the loyalty of their customers. That’s funny.

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Marketing to Entertainment I will quote Johan Ronnestam here. His description is so enlightening and thought provoking. Read him: “Tick tock tick tock tick tock. Can you sense it? The pure thought of a time makes people stressed. Time is the most precious thing we have and yet brands are wasting it. In a recent global study I was involved in we identified four factors that matters to guys and girls in the age-span 18-25. The study was performed in so-called style cities: New York, Rio De Janeiro, Stockholm, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong etc.

© Johan Ronnestam

Innovation, entertainment, interactivity and creativity. The two that stood out the most was entertainment and innovation. One kid said - “I’m bored so if I’m supposed to choose a brand I will choose the one that entertains me and adds something to my life.” A guy in Tokyo said - “If I’m supposed to show up with a pair of new sneakers to school I’d like them to be different than anyone else's”. Your brand has to stay on it’s toes. If you are into making cars you’re not only competing with other car manufactures, you’re competing with time too. If I am to interact with any kind of communication coming out from your company it better livens up my day. If not I’ll go somewhere else!”. Enough said.

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Customers to Followers The power shift has moved to consumers. They can chose what to do with your brand information, whether to listen or not. If you don’t get their attention, they simply flip you over with a click.

The customer era is over. You only have temporary followers. If I like you I will follow you on Twitter or add you on Facebook. If your values aren’t in sync with me, I’ll use the ‘unfriend’ button. It’s that simple.

You can measure this sort of behaviour by looking at the variety of mobile phones you’ve used in the past 3 years. Now, you get the picture? People can now compare everything online from bank transfers to car rental charges to insurance. All you have to do is head to www.comparethemarket.com or drop by www.gocompare.com. Your customer is now your client. He can say good-bye far easier than was ever thought possible.

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So, back to the question: What is the agency of the future? The reason for delving into this analysis about the brands of the future is to enable us better understand the requirements that are currently needed by agencies to evolve, satisfy clients and wow customers; and discuss the best ways to prepare for the future.

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Intel Retail Kiosk concept by Frog Design

I believe the agency of the future will be the one that becomes a GATEKEEPER of the knowledge of the brand, the emergent technology, and the evolving

behavioural pattern of the targets and apply the requisite solution via whatever channel that meets the changing dynamics - branded content; mobile marketing; social networking; user-generated content; word of mouth; viral; interactive; blogs; video games; retail initiatives; design innovations and environmental issues.

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That, I believe this should be an on-going and continuous effort that requires agencies to invest in ‘innovationhubs’ and develop people with capacity to anticipate and plan strategy across multi-disciplinary platforms. More importantly, the agency has to be a leader of knowledge and in the minimum, stand shoulder to shoulder with the clients. That core of manpower, I am afraid is in limited supply in Nigeria for now. It’s a huge paradigm shift but one that can bring great rewards – awards and wealth. Verizon Beatbox Mixer by R/GA Aquaduct by IDEO

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Tunde Olaifa is Associate Director, Brand Management with Prima Garnet Ogilvy.s.

“

In the future, the agency as we know it now will be looked at in awe and disbelief, the same way we look at dinosaurs now. That does not take away from the fact that organizations and individuals will not require advertising as they do now, but only brand solution providers (I hesitate to call them agencies) that evolve would be around to meet their marketing communication needs.

�

Follow on Twitter @ablackjamesbond

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It is clearly a case of ‘Do as I say, but don’t do as I do’. Most agencies are the apostles of change and they preach the gospel of how rapidly the world is changing to their clients but they themselves have refused to react to those changes. © iGadget Life

Every day, tools that enable consumers and advertisers to generate their own content are being introduced into the marketplace. In the future, user generated content (and this includes advertising) would have matured to a level where quality of output will rival those currently being provided by Agencies [So out goes some of the competitive edge).

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© Edelman Digital

The world is changing so fast that agencies, by the very nature of what they do and their business models, simply can’t keep up with the frenetic pace of change. Agencies as we know them now haven’t changed fundamentally in their operations and business models in almost 80 years. Now compare that reluctance to change to the pace of change in the media environment, traditional and modern, that agencies operate in and you will see that agencies have not even left the dock. 42


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YouTube and Vimeo continue to breed a new generation of movie makers and TV producers. The DIY culture is on the rise and can only get stronger. Social network sites are redefining market spaces and marketing and more and more, consumers are starting to realize how powerful they are and sooner than later, will wrest power and control from the advertisers.

Advertisers now know that some of the services that agencies used to charge them for can be handled directly by their own people. Media commission which is a main source of income for most agencies, especially in these parts, is being negotiated out of the hands of the agencies and a lot of clients are buying media directly. This trend will definitely continue in the future.

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As marketers begin to seek ways to connect with future consumers who are already hyper connected and overinformed today, the scene doesn’t look too good for today’s agencies that seem to be stuck in the past. The traditional ways of speaking to consumers will become obsolete as these consumers continue to actively seek out what they want to see and read and weed out what they don’t want {the tools to screen out ads would have been firmly placed in the consumers’ hands anyway}. Brands that understand these shifts in paradigm will realize that the existing agency structure, knowhow and business model can neither sustain nor support their marketing objectives.

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The 3D Agency and Nike Town “Write the Future” 3D Sculptures

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Hence, they will begin to look for a new type of brand solutions provider who I suspect will be a mutated cross between what we know today as a hot shop and a management consultancy; nimble, smart, lean and most importantly, respected.

Nike platforms by R/GA

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These agencies will be nimble and lean not because they are small but because they have processes and practices that deliver faster. As a matter of fact, there probably will be bigger and fewer agency networks in the future because I personally do not think the forces of convergence and globalization are slowing down by any means. Hence, we would see a lot of lifting and shifting [of knowledge and best practices] amongst members of a network.

These agencies will be smart because they will charge differently. They will realize that their compensation will be based on the value they bring to the client’s businesses and not on number of hours clocked, their creative or ideas or the media volume they buy. They will determine what they want to earn and will negotiate with Clients as partners and not suppliers. Finally, the agency of the future will be respected. They will be respected because they know their stuff and are truly in tune with the consumer, the marketplace, the brand and the changing world around them. So when they speak, the client listens!

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Fernando Palacios is the Autor at Storytellers based in Sao Paulo.

I’m someone who was an insider and now an astronaut. Advertising and Digital agencies in Brazil don't earn from ideas, they profit from buying media. The creative pieces come as in a package. However there’s a shift going on. Simple ads are losing their power. More and more agencies are putting effort into creating interesting + relevant content. And when advertising talks about content, it must ensure entertainment. Otherwise people will just ignore it. Follow @ http://storytellers.com.br

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Content + Entertainment can be done in many ways. One can make a bet in sports, as Red Bull does. One can also convey the message in a more orchestrated way: STORYTELLING. Storytelling can tell anything just by showing it, in a very emotional way. Storytelling can create struggles and counterpoints to explore each corner of a message making it much more persuasive. There's only one problem towards storytelling:

It requires a lot of craft, including a rare know-how and development time. The author must be able to see the story by its most appealing angle. They’ll also need the skill to tell it in the most seductive way.

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The other side of the coin about storytelling is that it competes against other stories. In this scenario, agencies who crave prizes will go to Cannes Festival, but won't be looking for golden lions anymore.

The Sphinx’s question is this: how the agencies can be deep in storytelling when working along corporate deadlines? After all, even a book takes over a year from the idea to the shelves. A movie can take up to three years.

Michael Moore is awarded the Palme d’Or in 2004 – the highest prize at the Cannes Film Festival which is presented to the director of the best feature film.

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My guess: brands will have their storytelling specialists to gather inside stories while agencies will grow their own fictional universe. All agencies will become a Marvel or a Pixar of sorts. Thus, agencies will lend their characters to make the brands’ stories shine brighter: as bright as a Palme d’Or.

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Babatunde Adebola is a young creative talent who combines strategic thinking with creative artistry. He was recently awarded the prized Lurzer Archive Scholarship to the Miami Ad School Europe in Hamburg.

“

Readers Manual: Well, you actually do not need any manual. This article is in this weird form, first as a simple entertaining quiz and second to pass the message of new thinking. Read on, it is in English Language but with a twist.

� Follow @ http://voiceofthebus.blogspot.com

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“New Thikning, New Futrue! As you’re reanidg tihs, the wrietr can raed waht is on yuor mnid. You are msot liekly thkining, at fsirt glnace, tihs atricle is flul of tpoygraphyical mistaeks. How rihgt are you? Verily, how wrnog you are! The wdors taht maeks the brcik taht builds tihs piece hvae intentiolanly and rebellisouly too appreaed in tihs form in odrer to conrofm to the denamds of tiems and ineedd psas viatl meassge. Lietrarily and laetrally, the wrold in chnaging and the wrod canont be an execption. The innevtion of the prinnitg psers in 1440 by Gutenberg chganed the way ppeole perceived thier wrold. For the vrey fisrt tmie, his wrok mdae it psosible for the precise and rpaid crteaion of meatl movbale tpye in lrage qunatities. This mechnaizatoin led to the fisrt mass pdoruction of bkoos in histroy in asmesbly line-stlye.

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As scuh, in the insudtrial age, the wtirten wrod was knig. The riegning thuoght was ratiolanity, factuality which is ineedd influenced by the loicgal order in which letters fololw ecah other in an accetapble patretn in wrod fortamion. Are you still redaing? If yes, then you’re aldeary living in the first dedace of the etomional age whcih has nullified the acnient asmusptions of the abvoe paragparh. According to the research at the Cambridge University, it doesn’t matter in what order the letters in a word are. The only important thing is for the first and the last letter to be in the right place. The rest can be in a total mess and you can still read it without a problem. This is because the human mind doesn’t read every letter by itself but by the word as a whole.

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Now, you’ll aprepciate why this arcitle is in this form. It is time we bkroe losoe from the dogtamic asmusption of the insudtrial age. Our mnid is not structured to perceive our wrold the way the wriettn wrod forces it to, unisg synatx and otehr rleus. Our mnid attempts to gian understdaning of the wrold by ctapuring imgeas and that is why the oredr in which of letters apeapr in a word doesn’t afceft yuor understdaning as lnog as the pciture of the wrod it. Wehn you wree a bbay (and if you can’t rceall ask mmumy) you as saw our wrold, you we semlt its scnet, you flet its txeture berofe you bgean the lnearing of lnaguage-sopken or wirtten. Picutres spaek mroe to us tahn wdors. Can we theerfore sezie to annonuce the obiutary of the wrod? The speaicl edioitn of the Econosimt, the wolrd in 2011, precidted taht this yaer may be the benigning of the end for the writetn wrods as we know it. Words are failnig-woefully to meet the communicaoitn challenges of 21 century. In a hyepr wrold where atnettion is the scarcest comdomity, assimilation of wrods take tmie we can’t afrofd to wsate. We theerfore mkae a sesne eevn mroe sesne-of our environnemt respdoning instinctviely to pictoairl commniucation.

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Are you stlil reanidg? If yes, then this is a graet opportniuty to bulid csae for emotnoial commniucation in bnard builindg efftors. Jsut as toady’s rdiao broadcasnitg scremas mroe muisc lses tlak, toady’s advertinisg sholud showcsae mroe enaggnig pictures less wodrs. Trhee is hoewver a cavaet: not a picrutes commniucation. Only picrutes that are inritguing that can tseae the vieewrs to maeks new concentions and new maening will hvae a susatinbale impact on conmusers. For instacne, these words you are readnig have seized to be the noraml bornig wrods you hvae been uesd to. Ratehr, tsehe wrods you’re raeding are picutres. Ratehr, tsehe wrods you’re raeding are picutres. They subnocsciously make you form new maening of the inirtguing scattenirgs of the lettres. Taht way, they are cut thurogh the clutetr; they lveae a lastnig imppresion on you. Infact, one can precidt rithgly that you’ll srahe this eepxrience with a friend. Imanige if brand communication has this much impact on csonumers, imanige waht the rerutn on investnemt will be.

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Š Ronwolf.com/Media 2015: Future of media

One mjaor mitsake we mdae is to beeilve csonumers are dlul; that if our bnard commniucaoitn is submilanil, inritguing or puzznilg jsut as tihs comuln is, the mesgase will be lsot. Are you slitl rdeaing? If yes, then this assumtipon is clearly wnorg. We all love firend who tell us intellinegt joeks becsaue new lreaning mkae new concenitons in the biran thereby making such epexrience unroftegtable. In the begnniing was the wrod but in the new yaer, let’s egnage our csonumers more etomionally-a ltitle mroe pciuters wlil hlep for tehy sepak mroe than thsee thousands of wodrs.

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Doyin Oluwole is the Principal Consultant of BrandCentuate based in Lagos.

I remember vividly, five years ago, during one of our weekly executive committee meetings (EXCOM) at Insight, that Kayode Situ, the Executive Director, Finance and Systems had declared that we were consultants and not agents. As expected, he had gone on to state his case, which was in no way questionable. For certain reasons, ‘force majore’ maybe, it did not fly. However, it had taken the ED Finance to help me see the path through the maze that had bedeviled the industry for years. To explain in detail, permit me to tell a true life story.

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Agency Bitters I had again woken up on that fateful day to the loud, croaky and irritating voice of a ‘preacher’ attempting to sing with a megaphone. I just about had it. I was going straight to him to give him a good tongue-lashing. His daily ‘godly’ routine was of nuisance value to me. I had struggled enough with myself, with not ‘putting down a brother’ that was ‘propagating the gospel’, but it wasn’t working anymore. I was through with swinging between my Christian bias and my true feelings. Suddenly it struck me. Going out to shout him down and probably smash his megaphone into bits wasn’t going to do it. I would have been the ‘devil’s advocate’ finally revealed. I had to look deeper into the key issues, of the message, the preacher, the medium and the receiver. After much thought, it was cracked. On my way out, I walked up to him calmly and we had a short, brotherly chat.

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© Collegehumor.com

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I remember telling him a little story (I’ve always believed in story telling because they last forever) about how preachers for decades, (I remembered clearly the early ‘70s) always went about ringing bells as they shouted their lungs sore, preaching to us the ‘children of men’. I guess the only target market for bells then were schools and preachers. The ringing bells always carried an air of reverence and power. Listeners never took them for granted. The message always hit home. However, over the years, technology and familiarity (yes, familiarity that always breeds contempt) had their day in the sun. The preachers, both old and young (with the newwave believers, popularly known as ‘SU’s) deferred to convenience and technology by adopting the megaphone. They no longer had to shout, lose their voice or battle exhaustion. They could preach for longer and could be heard farther. So, the megaphone was the ‘new medium’, the magic tool, the power tool, the current tool, the appealing tool. It appealed to the receiver, took the stress off the preacher and gave the message new opportunities, like room for singing.

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But again, that was a long time ago. Probably close to four decades. Technology and familiarity had taken their place in the sun one more time. Something had to give. The medium was stale, denying the message new opportunities. The receiver was bored and had gotten to the state of indifference, in my own case, irritation. Unfortunately, he, the messenger was stuck in a time warp and had no clue of advancement and goings-on. He therefore had no understanding of his position in the scheme of things. I believe the message hit home because he thanked me gladly. I then proceeded to suggest strategies based on ‘new media’ that would connect with the receiver, open up new channels of opportunity to the message and make the most impact. End of story.

Now back to Kayode Situ: What he ‘preached’ (just as our Apostle John de Villiers taught and practiced as the former ECD of Insight) was that as long as there is a message for the receiver, there will always be a preacher- either misinformed, uninformed, ill-informed or well informed.

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Martin Lindstrom

As long as there is science and technology, every medium will constantly change, opening new doors of opportunities to the message. Also, as long as all these factors exist, there will always be ‘gifted, learned and skilled’ preachers that will create messages that align with any relevant and current medium, for the receiver. I remember clearly that before the ‘Agencies’ started off design, events, experiential, ambient styling, sponsorship, media and the like, as separate businesses, they (agencies) handled everything. I mean every kind of message, through every kind of medium, to every kind of receiver. Whatever name is given to our business today, be it advertising, branding or Ideas creation, it all dovetails into our root name, our DNA, our family name, our all-encompassing essence; INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC). I dare say that because we are very learned in a field so eclectic, building individuals and businesses into enduring global brands in more ways than one, we are CONSULTANTS.

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© Andyh-brightside.blogspot.com

Therefore, we are IMC CONSULTANTS. The name ‘Advertising’ may become obsolete and die. The structures and approach may become extinct in the next three days, but the ‘learned preachers’ will forever remain, to be called by other names, built into other structures and driven by other approaches. ‘Learned’ preachers will not swim against the tide of technology, advancement and new value systems, which are some of the determinant factors of our business. I believe they will swim with the tide and evolve with new thinking, strategies, skills and practices that stand on three legs. relevant, effective and fresh. In conclusion, the learned strategists, creatives and client service experts (they all make up the preacher) will always remain, always evolving with the constantly changing medium and receiver.

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Outro

“

Agencies must be bold enough to 'disrobe' themselves from the agent mentality, revolutionize their business models, and embed hybrid-thinking principles + innovation lab culture within their organizations.

�

This will go a long way to transform the mindset of marketers toward agencies.

Franklin Ozekhome II is a trendspotter, strategist and storyteller based in New York.

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Eight key principles to adopt 1. Understudy the environment Analyse the business environment, market dynamics and interpret consumer trends 2. Innovate‌Always Adopt a business-in-beta model. Design a creative operational service structure that is fluid and easily adapted to suit socio-economic/political/ technological changes 3. Differentiate Have a point of view. Your agency must have a unique culture, personality and values that are properly reflected in its creative output, environment, and people.

5. Have an open-mind/open-door policy Be prepared to give criticism as well as take it. Listen to input and contributions from everyone – every idea should be allowed the benefit of doubt 6. Have integrity Build trust, honesty, and be consistent 7. Design great experiences Go beyond mere servicing clients to creating wow! experiences and value at every touchpoint 8. Invest in the Future of Innovation reports curated by theandnetwork with partners across the world

4. Engage with clients and consumers Be inspiring to your target market by leading them. Be social by taking an interest in what they do and participating in ventures that they are passionate about

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About theandnetwork theandnetwork is a gathering of likeminds who understand the present + future needs and wants of consumers and appreciate the application of strategic planning to enhance creativity, advertising and marketing of brands. The "and" in “theandnetwork” stands for co-ideation, co-creation, co-operation, collaboration, community, and coworking. It represents our way of thinking: Future Tense…Never-ending…Always beta. Collectively, we co-create cool stuff; collaborate on new projects; and develop engagement platforms that act as alternate guides and models for businesses and knowledge-seekers looking for materials and resources in the areas of pop-culture and entertainment, digital media, social innovation programs, experience branding and social influence marketing. Feel free to download and share this resource with your own network. Ideas are contributed daily on our group’s page at www.facebook.com/theandnetwork.

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references Thanks goes to the following individuals, organizations, blogs and websites for citation of their original materials and use of photos: Insight Communications Contagious Magazine Collegehumor.com Matthew Creamer Wieden+Kennedy Martin Lindstrom Orange Academy Toheeb Balogun theandnetwork速 Edelman Digital Advertising Age Marketing Edge The Economist Ronwolf.com FastCompany CoolBrands frog design Tom Peters Tim Brown Creativity BrandZ Droga5 TBWA TIME IDEO R/GA


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