How Ad Agencies Can Stay Relevant in the Decade Ahead

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Editor’s Note: Mobile Locker CEO Mark Stralka was a founding partner of Kazaam Interactive, a healthcare-focused digital agency near Philadelphia that was acquired by inVentiv Health (now Syneos Health) in 2012. Mobile Locker was born from Kazaam’s work building interactive content and apps for pharmaceutical companies. These insights are based on his agency experience.

AD AGENCIES: Increase Revenue by Developing Tomorrow’s Creative Today

The fundamentals of advertising changed completely over the last ten years. 

Will “advertising” even exist in the decade ahead?

Commercials, ads, collateral, web sites, social media, direct mail, and email — the bread-and-butter of most agencies — are low-margin one-offs that may not exist in the years ahead.

Dynamic, omnichannel, interactive, instantaneous, personal marketing campaigns may be okay today, but they’re not enough to make agencies stand out and succeed.

The future? It will be all about getting into the hearts and minds of prospective purchasers. It’s a completely different way of thinking about advertising and earning revenue.

People working at small and mid-sized advertising agencies and marketing organizations know they have to be ready for tomorrow’s trends and technology. It’s the only way they can survive and thrive in the future. But how can they keep up with bigger competitors? 

Don’t give up. In today’s world, smart and nimble always beats size and scope.

Here are some of the latest advertising trends along with tips on how to leverage and monetize them using Mobile Locker’s cutting-edge, cost-effective platform.

Deliver brand experiences, NOT product pitches.

Be honest: If you were an average buyer, would you be able to differentiate the products and services you promote from those offered by competitors? Would you be able to see real differences between your promotional efforts and theirs?

Probably not.

Even if the features and benefits are better or different right now, it’s unlikely in today’s fast-paced dog-eat-dog world that a competitive edge can be maintained for very long.

So what can really make a company and its advertising special? What will make it stand out over the long term?

It’s the brand story, which is all about how doing business with a firm makes people feel.

Today, advertisers have to create marketing campaigns that make buyers experience these emotions. It’s the only way to rise above the competition.

How Mobile Locker can help: Our platform makes it easy to develop interactive quizzes, games and other activities that let people discover and experience a brand at their own pace. They can be delivered online, at trade shows, during sales meetings or at a final point of sale. Mobile Locker’s intuitive interface makes it possible for even the most tech-phobic marketer or creative professional to create memorable branded moments that will close more deals.

It costs very little to create a cutting-edge experience that can be sold to clients for significant markups.

Be personal and authentic.

Old-school advertising tricks don’t make it today. Savvy consumers see right through them.

Social media and digital marketing have put buyers in the driver’s seat. They’ll take the next exit out of a sales journey to check out the competition if they feel you’re inauthentic or trying to trick them into buying what you’re selling.

A business needs to be accessible online and in person. Advertising, marketing materials, and sales reps must clearly, genuinely and consistently explain how products and services will help people manage or solve the issues they face. No puffery, false claims or game playing allowed!

How Mobile Locker can help: Our software allows agencies and marketers to develop engaging interactions that help reps get to know individual prospects before the selling process begins. This lets you customize advertising campaigns, marketing materials, and pitches so they’re viewed by buyers as helpful, personal and authentic.

Agencies can sell the added value they provide to clients by moving beyond being creative professionals to strategic sales partners.

Leverage personal connections.

Everybody likes to think of themselves as independent thinkers. Social media proves otherwise. We’re really a society seeking validation for the things we do. More and more, people look for advice and approval before buying anything. It’s true for both personal and business purchases.

How Mobile Locker can help: Our platform will give you the information needed to better understand which case studies and customer testimonials different prospect segments respond to. This helps make marketing collateral more personal and clients are more likely to connect with it. Validation from current clients will get more prospects to buy.

Agencies are more likely to succeed when they go above and beyond and provide added value to clients.

Advertise in all the right places, at the right times.

Shopping isn’t one-stop any more. It happens in multiple steps in many places.

A sales journey could include digital and television advertising, visits to a company website, online competitive research, social media interactions, phone calls, texts, virtual chats, in-person meetings, experiences, collateral and more. No matter how a consumer moves through the process, the through-line has to be personal, consistent and meaningful.

Omnichannel marketing aims to deliver seamless purchasing experiences across all channels to different target audiences. It’s one of the most complex strategies for agencies, marketers, and salespeople to figure out. Getting it right is critical to success today.

How Mobile Locker can help: Our cutting-edge software makes it easy to track every step of a sales process across all types of prospects. You can figure out what people respond to and what they’re not. This valuable data makes it possible for smaller and mid-sized agencies and firms to create omnichannel marketing campaigns that are as sophisticated and effective as those of their larger competitors. You’ll be able to reach potential buyers everywhere, at all the right times.

Mobile Locker’s platform will help you develop the same kinds of campaigns bigger ones do.

Respond instantly.

Things change fast today. One day a product or service is off the radar. The next, something happens that makes it hot and in demand.

It’s critical to get out in front of prospective buyers when new opportunities arise.

How Mobile Locker can help: Big agencies and organizations have collaboration and communication systems that make it possible to create campaigns on the turn of a dime. Our app provides the same functionality at a fraction of the cost.

You’ll be able to connect in-house and external teams and share information so you can beat bigger competitors to the punch.

The future of advertising is today.

Advertisers today are responding to extraordinary change at the same time they’re stepping into an unknown future. Advertising isn’t dead. It’s evolving in ways that make it almost unrecognizable from what it was just a few years ago. You owe it to yourself, your agency and business partners to find out how Mobile Locker’s app can help you keep up… and maybe even lead the way. The future of your business depends on it.

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