You can not create a modern brand without talented engineers. For vertically integrated e commerce companies, talented engineering is at an even higher premium (think dollar shave club, or HelloFlo). The web, social and mobile portals are the cornerstone of the brand and the only revenue stream. If the web or mobile portals go down, you have no access to any revenue whatsoever. The stakes couldn’t be higher.Yet, as important as quality engineering is, it is not longer more important than a quality user experience. If the engine works but the consumer isn’t ableto effortlessly navigate it, the engine might as well not exist at all. Digital agencies who lean too heavily solely on engineering will find themselves left behind.
Marc Pritchard, CMO of Proctor & Gamble, was quoted in AdAge calling for greater “end-to-end” integration telling agencies “frankly, your complexity should not be our problem, so we want you to make that complexity invisible”. Noting that many digital marketing agencies are still too “technical in nature”, his expectation is “that over time, our agency partners, whoever we choose, are going to be able to integrate all of the workload, so you can get the production out, the distribution out, as well as the creative”. As the CMO of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods company, Mr. Pritchard is well versed in modern consumer behavior. He knows that consumers expect quality experiences across all media. This is an incredibly complex charge, yet one that we, as digital marketing agencies, need to make invisible to our clients.
Technology is now at the center of every modern consumer experience. There is no escaping it. Whether we engage with the brand on social media, buy a product in a brick and mortar location, order a product via a mobile app, view a banner ad, or take part in a live brand experience – all of this engagement is being tracked, analyzed and iterated with an aim at continuously improving consumer experiences. If you are a modern digital marketing agency you are not merely a ‘digital agency’, you are an integrated, full service agency with technology at the hub. Brands need integrated partners who can create, produce and distribute in any media, not merely a ‘digital agency’ retrofitting their technology to a non-technological brand strategy. Quit selling yourself short. Integrated agencies with technology in their DNA need to step up and own the brand’s user experience across all consumer touchpoints. The consumers and brand owners are asking for it. Let’s give them what they need.