What working with tech brands taught me about the future of agencies
As brands become more tech-integrated and act more like nimble startups, agencies must provide the agility, velocity and production processes to be successful.
For agencies, tech companies have always posed a unique challenge. Besides educating audiences about complicated technology-related products, agencies also need to excel at traditional marketing – telling both a story of “what” a brand or product is and “why” users or customers should care. And if that weren’t enough, many tech companies are obsessed with speed – built for constant, agile innovation – which means they insist that their agency partners are similarly fast, inexpensive and flexible. Tech is quickly evolving and they expect us to keep up.
As brands become more and more tech-integrated and act more like nimble startups, tech giants and leaders of innovation, agencies need to be able to meet the needs of these companies.
Telling the product story
What tech brands desire more than any other vertical is product differentiation. This is especially true for those in B2B. The marketplace has become so crowded, with everyone messaging the same thing about their expertise in security and collaboration. In doing this, they sacrifice their need to tell a consistent story across all their products, to all their users.
Translating a very technical product into a story that resonates with users, while at the same time, differentiating that product from its many competitors, can be a challenge. Agencies can struggle with telling the “brand story” vs. the “product story.” This is somewhat by design. Agencies are hired to tell the brand story with the hopes that the messaging will translate down to the product level. But now, agencies need to bring agile processes and focus to execute at the product level.
Understanding both marketing and IT
Technology brands put a lot of focus on setting up a scalable IT infrastructure, which can have positive and negative impacts on marketing initiatives, especially digital marketing. It’s common for agencies to struggle with building something that is both innovative and creative but at the same time adheres to existing IT guidelines or within the IT technical constraints. An agency that includes skilled technologists is essential and very valuable to future technology brands.
Agility and speed
When product features and benefits change in real-time as the product engineers and marketers continue to refine the value proposition, being flexible enough for last-minute changes can be an advantage.
A tech brand’s primary target audience is deeply engaged in digital. Oftentimes, product launches, brand campaign launches and internal operational initiatives are all rooted solely on digital channels. So, with the speed and volume needed to execute these efforts in a demanding online world, agencies must provide the agility, velocity and production processes required to be successful.
An agile future awaits
This is a time when the AOR model is dissolving and brands in tech and beyond are seeking a broader range of creative and strategic partners. In an increasingly agency-agnostic environment, a more agile, more specialized relationship is important as we look to the future of our industry.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech Today. Staff authors are listed here.