Recently, we had the opportunity to discuss this at Advertising Week Europe 2023, one of the most prestigious events on the advertising and marketing calendar.
At the event we chaired a panel discussion, ‘The Power of &: How to Handle Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’, that explored how the changes sweeping through marketing today are having a profound impact on what clients need from agency partners. Today’s customer expectations and content needs mean any disconnect across the experience equals instant leakage. But as the velocity of conversion from consideration to purchase has increased exponentially, so has the importance of strong, clear brand communications.
So how can clients and agencies best configure their marketing models to deliver ‘everything everywhere, all at once’?
Hosted by Shula Sinclair (WW & EMEA Chief Strategy Officer, mSix&Partners), the panel was made up of; Sarah Golding (CEO, The&Partnership), Anja Spielmann (Global Brand & Content Director, Mars Food & Nutrition), Mat Thomas (Senior Manager, Brand Strategy, Lexus UK), and Dan Whitmarsh (Global Chief Strategy Officer, mSix&Partners).
Here are five key takeaways…
Be flexible, and willing to learn together
Integration fuels learning. The ways that agencies and brands can reach consumers are constantly evolving and expanding. Exploring and embracing new ways of doing things is where progress and discoveries can be made.
“I find myself in meetings sometimes where I’m out of my ‘swimming lane’, but that is when you learn. That’s an important part of our job. You want to keep learning. Nowadays, you cannot not be a team player.” - Sarah Golding – CEO, The&Partnership
Deep integration is fundamental
Fully integrated ways of working are required to keep up with expectations. By moving away from siloed environments where agency, client, and teams are working separately we can solve a wider range of business challenges, more quickly, and with more interesting results.
“Our agency team comes to the office, they’re part of team meetings. They’re in the business to help us solve business challenges. It’s no longer just setting a brief of ‘create 10 Pinterest posts for me’.” - Anja Spielmann, Global Brand & Content Director, Mars Food & Nutrition
Embrace expanded skill sets
The future is a balancing act of specialisms and expanding mindsets and skill sets. The new generation are comfortable and knowledgeable in the new space of “everything, everywhere, all at once”, those already in the industry are expanding beyond their traditional job roles.
“The really exciting thing about the generative AI and democratised creator tools that are in the hands of an entire generation of people means there are all kinds of generalists. People can come into agencies able to fulfil a very integrated role.” - Dan Whitmarsh, Global Chief Strategy Officer, mSix&Partners
Brand consistency remains key
As audiences and platforms become more fragmented, creative has to hang together across all touchpoints for brands to cut through and generate attention.
“(At Lexus) I’ve been distilling down brand guidelines into fine brand codes and assets...to ensure every touchpoint where we appear on the customer journey absolutely looks like Lexus.” - Mat Thomas, Senior Manager, Brand Strategy, Lexus UK
Creative can live, and come from, anywhere
The standalone piece of creative is no longer the be all and end all. The breadth of touchpoints brings with it opportunities for creative to thrive in different environments, in front of different audiences. As we work in a more hybrid way, those creative ideas can come from anywhere.
“A good idea can come anywhere, and it should come from anywhere. It can come from insights, from creative, from PR. It’s just about finding the best solution for the customer.” - Anja Spielmann, Global Brand & Content Director, Mars Food & Nutrition
The Power of &
The power of partnership can enable brands and agencies to work together – and thrive – using an everything, everywhere, all at once approach to collaboration. And it is great to see how it is being used to further success in so many arenas. For more information about how you can introduce marketing transformation and embrace the Power of & in future campaigns contact Emma Storer, Group CMO EMEA, The&Partnership and mSix&Partners.