It’s one thing to embrace the thought of a new idea, but another thing entirely to face the fear of implementation and take action.
Marketers are usually open to new ideas and embrace them, but when it comes to implementation, then nerves and uncertainty can set in. This is where knowing what you don’t know – but knowing someone who does – is key.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought with it much uncertainty and caution became the watchword across many industries. As we move towards recovery, everyone is looking for growth and marketers are no exception. What needs to be dealt with first, however, is “analysis paralysis”, the over-thinking that can result in high stress and missed opportunities.
This is when intermediaries provide real value. Being aware of marketers’ increased openness to new ideas right now and the role we can play in providing facts, figures and formulas that best suit all parties.
Supporting clients with knowledge
Because organisations like the IAS have in-depth knowledge of marketers, agencies and global trends around what is working for both, we’re able to present an array of tried-and-tested options targeted at the specific tasks at hand.
The more alternatives an intermediary can present, the greater the confidence clients have that they are not being pigeon-holed into choices or using certain platforms and agencies just because they’re out there. For example, prior to the pandemic, budget set aside for digital media was growing fairly steadily.
Enter the sudden need to provide solutions for people working from home and the amount of spend being allocated to digital his risen rapidly and will continue to do so. According to leading intermediary, AAR Partners in the US, by 2023 65% of media budget in the US market will be spent on digital platforms. This involves a step-change in thinking by marketers as they look to select the best fit-for-future creative and media agencies.
South Africa’s digital spend figures showed an uptick of around 36% just a few months ago, and it looks like it’s already sitting at 40%. SCOPEN notes that China, Brazil and the UK are also seeing an increase, not just in spend but in the platforms available to marketers.
Choices, choices everywhere…
Having observed the options coming thick and fast in technology and agencies that are able to extract value from them almost immediately, marketers are open to doing things differently – and more so when they have the guidance of intermediaries.
The impartiality of professional intermediaries offers a reticent-to-spend organisation the guidance needed to know where their money will buy solid results and which agency options they choose will see them through campaigns that require different ways of reaching an audience unlikely to go back to how things were done before.
Importantly, understanding that clients need to resolve specific issues using best-fit technology and analytics that show their agency choices were worthwhile is a vital part of what the intermediary does – and knows – best.
Johanna McDowell is CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) and SCOPEN partner.
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