Our view on Econsultancy's State of the Industry Report

06 October 2017
Josie Klafkowska, Nichole Mellekas
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We were super-excited to be ranked 26th in EConsultancy’s new Top 100 Digital Agencies Report 2017 last week. The rankings are based on fee income and many of the agencies above us are huge global, full-service players. We were very proud to be in their midst and to be the second highest ranking WPP agency behind our peers at AKQA.


The industry report was super interesting too. There are some key trends emerging that we think are going to make the landscape pretty absorbing over the next few years. We’ve applied the Cognifide lens and broken them down here as the 5 T’s: Trust, Transformation, Training, Team and Talent.

Trust

Scott Brinker’s ever-expanding technology landscape is proof enough that choice is now becoming more of a hindrance than a help. We’re noticing more and more that where clients used to come to us post-technology purchase, they are now regularly asking for our help in making those important - not to mention, expensive - decisions.

Econsultancy refer to agencies as becoming the ‘sense makers’. After all, it’s our job to have all ears to the ground with new technologies emerging, so we’re well placed to take an advisory role. We can also be objective and match technology choices against the problems that need to be solved, with a view to the future, as well as just the present.


Developing solid business partnerships are key to building the kind of trust that enables client and agency to make these decisions together.


Transformation


In the race to equip ourselves as agencies to guide our clients through digital transformation, we are transforming ourselves. We launched our consulting arm in 2015 and it has since quadrupled in size. The demand from our clients for team members who can translate consumer and technology trends into future digital roadmaps and practical and tangible applications is massively on the rise.


Technology implementation is still a huge part of what we do, but helping our clients to drive change through that technology is paramount. Unless we can ensure that clients have the right people, processes and operating models in place, they won’t be able to maximise the value of those technical solutions.


Training


Our aim is to make our clients self-sufficient so that we can then go on to help them with the next innovation. In their report, Econsultancy noted that agency engagements are shifting towards the development of capabilities and up-skilling in-house teams.


We have a team devoted to enablement - both clients and their creative agencies. Agile is not just a software development methodology. More and more it’s becoming a mindset that we see marketing teams adopting. We help them to make the shift from historical waterfall processes, shaped around traditional campaign cycles, to an environment of continuous delivery and deployment which is essential to deliver the kind of responsive, personalised experiences that consumers demand.


If you got to the end of the Econsultancy report, you may have discovered our case study. Our work with Barclays Africa Group sums up the trust, collaboration, training and teamwork that are so essential for success. If you missed it in the report, take a look at this short video.


Team


The marketing technology world is in constant flux and always seeking new talent and skills to elicit more: more results, more productivity, and definitely more revenue. The questions of where those skill sets should sit is therefore constantly debated. Does the organisation bring those skills in-house or hire an outside agency? And if they go with an agency, how do they best work together.


The Econsultancy report notes that more and more clients are working with on-site agency teams and this has certainly been our experience over the last few years. Although we pull in talent and skills from all over the world, our most successful collaborations will involve an embedded team, working at a client location, tapping into the broader skill set, and scaling up or down as required.


Talent


So how do agencies attract and retain this diverse talent set? The report discusses the current skills shortage in digital and we have noticed that it is harder and harder to find top talent. In fact, we search far and wide, which means that when we do find the right people, they bring a wealth of diversity and experience that make us who we are as an organisation.


With 2 offices in North America, 2 in Poland and our HQ in London, we’re a melting pot of different backgrounds and cultures. Celebrating these differences and the individuality of our colleagues is a vitally important part of our culture. And it’s this culture that we believe helps us to attract the best in the business.


We’re also trying to nurture a new breed of talent through initiatives that take us into schools and universities, mentoring and working with children from primary school to graduation. Let’s hope that the technology bug continues to excite the next generation and who knows how the Econsultancy Top 100 Report 2027 might read.


We’ll still be blogging, so watch this space!



Other blogs that Josie Klafkowska has written include Adobe Summit: the 5 key talking points and Unconference: the business hackathon.