Interesting report from Forrester this week which suggests (c/o adweek) that agencies are
“in “a world of hurt” because consumers are tuning out the messages the industry is predicated on producing. Instead, it believes shops need to be organized around communities, not disciplines. What it is calling “the connected agency” would not only know certain communities but also be active members of these groups. Pushing messages would give way to encouraging voluntary engagement, and ongoing conversations would replace time-based campaigns”
Which is kind of half right.
Yes, our obsession with messages and vehicles to send them is really out of date (and fairly pointless given that messages and information has only a marginal role in changing behaviour, particularly brands sending messages AT consumers) and yes, agencies need to organise themselves around the social world of consumers.
But a big fat “NO” to the idea that there are “fixed communities”: this reeks all too much of the network theory that geekworld likes; human social connections are much more interesting than that model – derived from the tech world – suggest.
And a “Where have you been, my friend?” to the thought that the digital guys are going to be any better: they’re also mostly tied up with old ideas about influence and information being a key driver of behaviour (of course, they would be – that’s how digital stuff is framed, mostly.
Adweek cites Peter Kim of Forrester saying “I can’t say there’s an agency now that’s the agency of the future,”.
Well, I think he could have tried a bit harder. Looking here, here , here or even here maybe or here….There are folk doing interesting stuff and thinking about behaviour and how to shape it with brand behaviours and peer-to-peer interactions…
In anycase, not sure the message from Forrester is likely to change things – however many times we say something, doesn’t really change things. Far better for Forrester to move themselves from information provider to behavioural exemplar…that’d be a way to stimulate change!