Senior Planner, Simon Lamey, explores how agencies can make more for their clients by thinking longer term when it comes to new technologies.
The Guardian featured an article written by Tom Goodwin from the Tomorrow Group, where he voiced his concern that marketing is guilty of settling for cheaper, quick short term ideas that aren’t always in a brand’s best interest. His challenge is for marketers to forget this ‘distraction’ of cheap marketing, step up and help clients more effectively.
And this is something that has been on our minds too.
Recently, I gave a presentation to the agency called ‘Making Cool Beans’ – where I talked about using ‘cool’ new tech and adopting it to make more money (or ‘beans’) over the longer term. The idea behind ‘Making Cool Beans’ is to promote using new technology for marketing – not because it is ‘cool’ – but because it creates positive impact for a brand’s customers, as well as driving demonstrable brand growth. ‘Making Cool Beans’ is a call to agencies to move on from the tendency to think short term, cheap and choose ‘quick to action’ technologies. This might be a quick PR credentials building exercise, but this can often be at the expense of a brand’s longer term growth.
Taking this longer term view of using newer technologies, we should push ideas beyond more tactical thinking and towards longer term business thinking, by creating ideas that push the brand over the next few years, not just the next 3 months. In reality, this might mean integrating new technology in-store or enhancing customer service online, long after a typical campaign period would be over - iBeacons, digital tables, Virtual Reality holograms are growing evidence of this.
The clever bods at Gartner recently reported how the evolution of new technology is moving from a ‘digital marketing’ era (using VR, AR, NFC) to a ‘digital business’ era (3D Printing, connected home, Internet of Things, Wearable tech) - where people, business and objects are now converging on a larger scale. This means we should bravely move on from thinking ‘how to sell’ and more towards ‘how to help’ and enhance customers’ lives as new technologies become increasingly interwoven in our day-to-day world. It’s this shift in thinking that will enable agencies to help better brands, their customers’ experiences and ultimately drive longer term growth.
Unfortunately ‘Making Cool Beans’ case studies, that detail return on marketing investments, are currently a bit thin on the ground. But this is the reality of adopting new technologies; taking the risk, being at the front of the roller coaster, trailblazing a newly trodden path in the bold hope of seeking better returns.
So to all you brave marketeers out there, looking to create something amazing and striving to deliver a return on investment over the longer term, now’s the time to get your thinking cap on and start making some Cool Beans.