Julia Manoukian


December 25, 2017

What Top Brands Expect Out of Their XM Agencies in 2018

Julia Manoukian

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There's no question about it: we live in the digital age. In this fast-paced world, brands are turning to experiential, event, and face-to-face marketing more readily than ever before.

In light of this reality, your agency must adapt. If you don't, the chances of losing customers are uncomfortably high, and, you're bound to be on the slow edge of technology. Today, 72% of customers have a positive impression of brands that create great experiences.

Don't you want to be one of them?

Here's how.

1. Establish Trust

According to Jayson DeMers, "There's only one reliable way to increase customer retention in a marketing agency, and that's by proving your value."

This means that all metrics should be verifiable, and any ROI and associated operating costs should be entirely transparent.

Tie everything you do back to numbers, leads, and conversions to make brands feel more comfortable with your services.

2. Shift Toward Technology

Technology allows your agency to share information broadly, quickly, and with fewer resources. Whether you're placing ads aimed at reaching millions of buyers or interacting with customers on social media, there's no doubt that tech adoption is essential for XM agencies.

Tech adoption also keeps your agency lean, which makes you more adaptable and nimble. In the words of Harvard Business Review author Mitch Joel,

"Models of leanness will force agencies to be more nimble, more sensitive to how the brand's budget is allocated, and force a spirit of partnership with the brands they represent."

3. Consider the Big Picture

By taking a proactive approach to figuring out what you can offer outside of your standard scope or traditional focus, you succeed in taking advantage of the ever-changing digital landscape; you also ensure you're doing as much for your customers as is humanly possible.

Looking for an example of a brand that mastered big-picture thinking and excelled because of it? Consider Whole Foods. Founder John Mackey has routinely said that it's systems thinking that allowed him to scale the company to what it eventually became.

4. Work With Other Agencies (or Tech Partners)

Today, there are dozens of talented agencies vying for the attention of brands. While it pays to dominate your niche by being the best, it's also important to ensure you're working with other agencies wherever practical.

Here's what Sean Young has to say about it:

"Hiring agencies that are best-in-class in their given discipline and integrating them with other best-in-class partners actually makes collaboration easier and smoother."

Consider how Lean Cuisine partnered with Grand Central Station for their #WeighThis campaign, or Google donated $5.5 million to Bay Area nonprofits to "Build a Better Bay Area."

5. Get Inside the Business

Your account team should take extreme pains to understand the ins and outs of your clients' company. If you don't understand the team or the product deeply, you're going to miss those key opportunities. Don't let that happen to you.

According to HubSpot, agencies that conduct market research grow faster and enjoy sharper success rates than their less-educated counterparts. In the words of author Amanda Zantal-Weiner, "The consumer benefits by experiencing your brand in a tangible way -- and you benefit when that content is shared...the emphasis isn't so much on the event format, but rather the type of interaction that people can have with a specific brand."

Better Service Starts Here

Nobody wants to lose customers, but it can be inevitable in the digital age. That's why you need to start developing your experiential marketing approach and improving your customer-facing efforts if you want to improve your services and offerings. By implementing these five tactics, you can offer better service across the board and ensure that the brands you work with are satisfied and eager to continue the partnership.

CTA image to view A Guide To Proving & Improving Experiential & Live Marketing ROI eBook

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