Why Data Culture Matters: The Role of Agency Partnerships in Powering Your Data
As 2020 approaches, the changing dynamics between agencies and brands has never been clearer. Brands are increasingly challenged to get more value from their agency—both from strategic consulting and actual branding execution—meaning the agencies positioned to succeed are multi-faceted able to deliver creative marketing services and data-driven solutions. The most effective partnerships are born from each having a strong data culture in that they value data and share the drive to leverage it.
Own Your Data
A recent survey by the Economist showed that “Eighty-six percent of CMOs and senior marketing executives believe they will own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020.” If that’s the case, a massive amount of complexity needs clarifying and in mere months at that. Every marketing organization, in the face of the constant acceleration of technology and the incredible amount of data it yields, will require a data-driven leader prepared to manage the billions of customer interactions at stake.
Currently, many brands have a process for collecting data in partnership with IT, but few excel in the effective activation of customer data at scale. That, and many of the data vendors with annual contracts are incentivized to prolong problems with data management, effectively securing their renewal each year. Fortunately, as agencies become greater partners in data collection, they empower clients to meet the high expectations of today’s customer by providing data-driven insights for optimized communication with their audiences.
Hire Agencies for Specific Expertise (and Reskill Your Employees)
Brands will continue to augment their team with agency talent which, when a good match, provides increased value as the partnership grows. However, industry complexity will increase just as quickly, so it would be wise to reskill your employees in anticipation of what’s next. For example, reskilling your analytics lead in a marketing automation platform or customer data platform will not only grant team members additional technical skills but will narrow the organizational knowledge gap allowing your agency partners to collaborate much more effectively.
Enable True Change Management Internally
For many organizations, change management never leaves the discussion stage, and the process never becomes practice. There are different models for effective change management, many with multiple steps focused entirely on mindset. While necessary, brands also have an opportunity to double down on decision making and deliver real change across the organization by identifying tangible steps. Ask, does your team have the right skills to meet upcoming industry changes? What can you do to set your team up for success?
After addressing gaps in ability, every organization must address the desire of each team member to make the change, the knowledge of how to make it happen, and the diligence to make it stick. Ideally, your agency partners will be very active in enabling this change in your organization.