Agencies should anticipate their clients' digital needs

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Lori Goldberg
Lori Goldberg

Just a few years ago, many client requests were rather generic, buzzword-driven inquiries like, "What's up with mobile?" or "I want to build a social presence." Today, clients are smarter and looking to improve their ROI beyond the novelty stage to extract real, tangible value from their digital strategies. To meet these more sophisticated needs, agencies and technology providers must evolve and even anticipate clients' needs before they inquire by staying one step ahead in their expertise and offerings.

Innovative, emerging companies want to be disruptive yet feel like they're in control. They're looking directly to their agency partners to do more, perform better, and give their campaigns wings to rise above the clutter. After all, these companies are likely also eyeing potential investment opportunities and must show a confident, novel approach to leveraging new media to remain attractive to possible investors.

It's a tall order for any agency. However, it is entirely possible and profitable to deliver the innovative and successful digital campaigns that become a sensation. But how?

It's important to make the time to meet regularly with new and emerging providers in the marketplace. The willingness to explore new opportunities enables agencies to take advantage of these start-up opportunities at relatively inexpensive rates, which can meet both the economic goals of the campaign and give you first-to-market bragging rights. Even if these providers' offerings are not a good fit right now, keep your extended team educated so that you'll have this inherent knowledge when the time is right.

Additionally, agencies shouldn't just focus on the client's 
media goal. From a business perspective, what are they trying to accomplish? Is it really about getting more Facebook signups, or is the real goal to build an engaged community? Get to the heart of what the goal really is, and this will drive a better a strategy and media choices to get you there. 

Managing client expectations in the digital space can be difficult, as the ROI can be hard to define, so agencies need to work with their clients to identify mutually defined measures of success. The client must understand what's realistic 
and what is not. 

The evolving digital space can seem even more chaotic for small shops, but it is certainly possible to compete with, and even outperform, the big boys when you build a network of vendor partnerships. Building a broad stable of on-demand resources can give an agency of any size the flexibility and agility to meet ever-changing client needs and keep up with the latest innovations in the industry in the most economical and resource-friendly fashion.


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