An interesting opinion piece by Tyson Carr titled ‘Agencies are failing to solve actual business problems?’ No kidding!’ - explores the basic premise that agencies are traditionally good at nailing briefs, but missing the bigger strategic picture.Whilst I agree with a lot of the sentiments presented in the article, I think Liquid does in fact do quite the opposite – but more on that later!
The one aspect that was most interesting and warrants further exploration is the all too brief mention of the intersection of strategy, creativity and data.
But what does this actually mean for a digital or marketing agency working with a client? Or more importantly does all this buzz word talk, match the walk? At Liquid, we’re constantly challenging our team to elevate our thinking when it comes to these three areas.
Is the strategy more than just an execution plan?
Aligning the digital and marketing strategy with the organisational strategy is indeed the first step, but to stop here would not be enough to capture the hearts and minds of the wider organisation. I would argue that unless the vision, objectives and KPIs are also aligned with those of the broader business, you will never get buy-in above that of the CMO.
Is creativity more than just a banner image and a tagline?
This is linked to the author’s notion of "you can’t polish a t**d", in that creativity goes beyond the superficial. Our philosophy is that creative is content driven and UX-led, because if there is no substance beyond the superficially impressive, customers will see right through your product.
Is data more than just performance reporting?
Data is another industry buzz word that can add a significant amount of value for the client, or none at all. Organisations and clients are generally great at asking for (more and more) data. And having this data gives them great comfort, often reinforcing what they want to see. However, we believe that reporting for reporting sake is a waste of time. Rather, we like to work with our clients as part of a continuous improvement cycle; where timely analytics reveal business insights, that lead to management decision making and action. And unless this is done in a systematic way, the success of any initiatives will be purely guess work.
So, what about nailing the brief?
At Liquid, we have an internal saying of, you haven’t fully addressed the brief unless you’ve changed it and aligned it to a broader business or social problem to solve. We work closely with CMOs and Heads of Digital to find the real problem worth solving – whether it involves selling cars, finding homes for animals or improving Australia’s mental health literacy.
If you missed the article by Tyson Carr, you can read it here.