I'm enjoying the proliferation of trend articles as we enter the second half of this fascinating year. It's interesting to spot the common themes that underpin the predictions for the future of the industry.
Here Mercedes Cardona, a consultant from New York opines on the "digital led normal" state that businesses will operate in as they adapt to new technologies and the need to deploy their investments wisely in order to own the customer journey and the customer experience. She highlights seven trends that are well worth reviewing in their right.
What I found interesting however was the link Cardona makes between the requirement to execute and the investment the major consultancies are making in their marketing capabilities.
My colleagues throw their hands up in horror whenever I flag the threat we face from the likes of Accenture, Deloitte or even IBM. It's not because they underestimate the impact these behemoths might have, but because they represent the antithesis of what we as an agency stand for, and in particular, our creativity.
And herein lies the ongoing challenge and opportunity for mid size agencies like ours. For sure we can compete in our own ecosystem and win the battle for the client's wallet. The challenge we face along with every other agency is to win the war against the sharp suited consultancy invaders.
Our main deterrent? It's creativity, plain and simple. What the communications industry has that the behemoths don't is the ability to develop high impact, bespoke creative campaigns borne out of years of experience. The talent in the global PR industry and the fact that we're all waking up to the realisation that creativity with impact is welcomed in the C suite means we are in a great place.
But make no mistake, those sharp suited invaders mean business so we'll need to keep our creative arsenal well stocked to keep them at bay.
In that slow-growth environment, user experience will be key, experts said. Paull noted that consultants such as Deloitte and Accenture have invested more than $7 billion acquiring marketing capabilities to execute on their market knowledge. “They’re already in the door with the CEO and the CFO, so it’s a logical step to move onto the CMO,” he said. “Media agencies have to become more involved in the customer journey and help marketers evolve the customer interface.”