A Technology Decision is a Decision of an Agency
Technology is an integral part of client-agency relationships. Marketing technology is an integral part of how agencies deliver work product to clients and interact with them. It provides the foundation for consumer insights, campaign planning, execution and measurement. Businesses that depend on their agencies’ technology capabilities are also dependent on them.
Forrester believes technology will play a significant role in agency success. It is important to consider the technology capabilities and strategy of any agency when selecting an agency. This is more than simply checking off the list of adtech partners or marketing cloud certifications. Buyers need to look for a technology strategy that suits their needs. This includes consistency with existing technology investments, approach to commercial or bespoke tech development, breadth of technology coverage, and support and services capabilities.
Jay Pattisall and I collaborated to publish “Reprogram The CMO/Agency Technology Relationship”, which explains the technology strategies of 10 major agency holding companies: Dentsu and Havas Groups, IBM iX and IPG, Material+ and Omnicom Groups, Publicis Groupes, S4Capitals, The Stagwell Groups, and WPP.
We examine how each agency group supports technology across four delivery modes in our research:
- Assemble.Delivery of Agnostic technology that values flexibility and customization.
- Construct.Through extensive R&D and proprietary offerings, we deliver cutting-edge technology.
- Consult.Support clients’ tech efforts with advisory-oriented delivery
- PartnerTechnology delivery through partners to maximize the breadth and depth tech options
Because of the size of the holding companies and the breadth of client needs and the complexity of modern marketing, each of the four delivery models of technology are and not mutually exclusive. Each agency incorporates elements from all four models. This research shows where each agency fits on the spectrum of model types and details their strengths and capabilities for each.
It is fascinating to see that, despite their market power and breadth, agency holding companies are very diverse. Each balances the four delivery models individually to meet CMO technology needs for collaboration, implementation and customization.
The full report provides a guideline for companies to identify their technology needs and map them to delivery models. It also sets the stage for agency selection success in the context complex and changing technology environment. Please tell us how it went for you and request an inquiry from Jay Pattisall and myself.
Solving the Content Data Dilema: How to Build B2B Content Measurement Dashboards
Forrester’s 2021 B2B Marketing Executive Study found that B2B marketers ranked “improving ROI/effectiveness in marketing” as the top priority. Next came “understanding customer content preferences” as the number one content-related challenge. Forrester benchmark data shows that only 41% of respondents can view content performance metrics by audience, and 34% can see the same by topic or theme.
Many B2B marketing organizations are still lacking the ability to track and analyse content performance. This results in content experiences that don’t fit the needs of the audience they are meant to reach. They wouldn’t be able to know their interests, informational needs, and interaction preferences.
Optimizing the buyer journey and customer lifecycle is key to optimizing the experience. This can be done by improving our understanding of how content contributes to and drives those experiences. Content measurement dashboards are a great tool to do this. It takes five steps to build B2B content measurement dashboards.
- Identify goals and set parameters.First, you need to define the criteria that will be used for creating a pilot set content measurement dashboards. To ensure alignment and expectations, it is important to define the key attributes such as goals, key stakeholders, who will champion the project, and the dates for data collection and analysis. Additional considerations include the types of content, audiences, and geographies that will be evaluated.
- Assess your readiness.Next, you will need to compile a list of KPIs that are currently being captured by which teams and systems. Your content processes, technologies and tagging/taxonomy practice will impact the content measurement that your organization is capable of. Regardless of the readiness issues and KPI gathering challenges that you may face, it is important to keep working with what you have. You can learn more sophistication over time with content insights.
- Define use cases, KPIs.You now need to identify the use cases and KPIs you want to include in your pilot content measurement dashboard views. Which questions do you want to answer using your dashboards? Recall the original scope and goals you set. These dashboards are for who? What information do these stakeholders need? A master set of KPIs should be available to all stakeholders. However, CMOs, content teams, demand centers, and sales enablement teams will have different interests in subsets of these KPIs depending on their priorities and roles.
- Create pilot content dashboards.After you have defined your use cases and key performance indicators, it is time to create dashboards. This can be done easily if you have the right technology and processes. If you are just starting out and have a few gaps in your technology, you can still create useful content performance dashboards. This will require more manual work and you’ll need to pull data from multiple sources and combine them into dashboard-like views depending on stakeholder audience and case. Remember, it’s not enough to share the data metrics when you deliver data. Share narrative insights to help stakeholders understand the data story. Find the most significant trends, patterns, or anomalies that are worth surfacing.
- Over time, adapt and improve analytics and content data.A pilot exercise is unlikely to result in perfect content measurement dashboards. Focus on the content measurement readiness gaps that you identified in your technology and process as you move ahead. As you improve your measurement capabilities, you will also need to develop reporting for a wider range of KPIs as well as additional use cases. Cross-functional teams will become more empowered and able to make better content strategy decisions as a result.