Why technological solutions to business problems are the way forward
Glenn Patterson, the Chair of Creode, has previously owned and managed an international multi-award winning integrated agency. Here, he explains the wide range of developments he expects to see within the industry over the coming months.
All businesses have a culture, but it’s about fostering and developing the “right” one. It’s very easy when you’re busy to focus on the task in hand, but I’ve found over the years that the key is to continue learning as you go, and stay curious, so that you can help the client beyond what they might expect, or what they’ve put down on the brief sheet.
It all sounds very simple when you say it like that, but the way to approach it is by keeping the internal dialogue alive; by pushing the culture of continuous learning with your colleagues, sharing insights with like-minded people, and with those who are committed to being commercially aware.
Applying this philosophy to the changing agency world
Some things won't change, and the main focus of any agency, first and foremost, is to deliver an engaging, hard-working solution to their client.
At Creode, we use our cross-sector technical experience to explore if there is a better, more efficient, and more engaging way to answer the problem. This makes for an interesting conversation, because a marketer might suggest a particular approach - or advise you to focus attention on a certain channel - and they will probably be right. But if we as an agency can provide a unique technical solution to the conundrum the client presents us with, then it may also have significant impact on our client's wider business objectives.
Historically, we’ve seen how technology-led communications have given businesses a point of difference. It’s an obvious one, but Apple springs to mind, as they provide a great online experience - and there’s others too, such as First Direct, who have added value by creating an easy-to-use set of references and calculators for the lay person to navigate personal finance.
These kind of examples made both Apple and First Direct a more attractive destination, because they were easy to use, offered points of difference, and have customer valued content.
Essentially, they solved problems with unique and reliable solutions, and that’s really the start. If you can add a technological solution to that, then, immediately, the benefits to the client are obvious.
R&D and responsibility
There’s a requirement and a responsibility of the agency in question to immerse themselves in the world of the client and continue to learn and ask questions.
Big tech companies will spend a fortune on R&D, which means it’s often a challenge to keep up; and you only have to look at what the big players like Amazon spend in that field to gauge its importance.
It’s a challenge we accept - and for smaller agencies like ours, just because the client comes to us with a specific brief, that doesn’t stop us from considering how it fits into the business as a whole.
Creode has a collection of creative, thoughtful, customer-focused people, combined with our core that is very technical. One example of this is the work we once did with a publisher. They wanted to improve subscriptions, so what we provided was a complete tech solution that made it more streamlined - and not only did the digital marketing improve conversion, but the tech solution enabled them to make significant savings.
The client/agency relationship
Our role as an agency is to stay ahead of client requirements and be able to respond to technical, market and media changes.
We understand that day-to-day business can be tough for many brands, so I see our role as being one that is not only delivering the hardworking solutions, but keeps ahead of developments with technical, sector and customer insights.
When we are lucky enough to be brought inside a client's business to learn about and understand the challenges they face, our team is constantly developing, researching, and generally learning about changes and innovation that can help them improve.
Staying curious means we are aware of new developments which can create powerful opportunities for our clients.