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3 Ways Technology Is Changing Agency Workflows
3 Ways Technology Is Changing Agency Workflows

Rapidly evolving technology brings changes to business. Some changes are small, others are more dramatic. Most advancements in technology are designed for industry-specific purposes and the results often reach much further than originally intended. Especially when the technology has implications for business processes and workflows.

Advertising agencies have been transformed by recent technology. Technology has changed the way agencies operate internally (the way team members work together) and externally (with clients). Three key areas that show the influence technology has had on advertising agency workflows are:

  1. Detailed tracking and analyzing successes;

  2. Leveraging non-linear work processes; and

  3. Keeping team members more in sync with each other and with company goals.

Technology to Track and Analyze Advertising Agency Results

Although tools that provide tracking and analytics data for ad campaigns have existed for a while, these technologies are getting more intelligent all the time. Recent advances allow ad agencies to make better decisions for ad design and placement based on a larger, more detailed body of data. Incorporating this growing amount of data provided by technology can require changes in agency processes and tools. A couple of these tools are explored below.

Real-Time Interaction Management

Real-time interaction management, or “RTIM”, offers agencies and their clients "hyper-sensitive contextual marketing." RTIM leverages a customer's known history and preferences, along with current conditions, to identify when and where that customer is most likely to take action or make a purchase. RTIM can help agencies design creative ads that address these micro-points of customer action, and position these ads where they will reach potential purchasers. This makes the purchasing process more streamlined and simple, turning ‘potential purchasers’ into customers. For the agency's clients, RTIM’s contextual approach to predictive analytics means a better return on their ad investment.

Data From New Sources

The major growth in the wearable technology market also presents new opportunities for ad agencies when it comes to tracking and analyzing data. It also provides potential for new advertising channels. Smartwatches and health sensors opened up a new level of data that provides up-to-the-minute information on customer activities. As artificial intelligence continues to find its way into new markets (such as kitchen appliances and home control or security systems) ad agencies will have more information to work with. This gives more opportunities to send the right message at the right time. As an example, while not many organizations are currently using data from the Internet of Things, it is an area of technology that a significant number are looking to use in the coming year. Being primed for new sources of data is critical for ad agencies.

Non-Linear Processes

Modern information technology has radically changed the process the average customer goes through before making a purchase. Customers are no longer working systematically through a step-by-step purchase process. Intelligent ad agencies need to adjust their strategies and even their processes in response. The most effective ad agency workflow for 2017 may not be a linear process from brief to final ad creative. It is likely to be a less linear pathway that incorporates new data gathered from multiple sources.

In keeping with a more customer-centric approach, ad agencies are also crafting advertisements as part of a larger content strategy. A result of this strategy will be increased use of mobile platforms, which is predicted to make up 32.9 percent of all media ad spending by 2020. Other key advertising formats provided by emerging technologies include integrated messaging apps, chat-bots and video all within social media platforms. By taking advantage of these new platforms and formats in advertising, agencies can adjust their workflow to reach their clients' customers in a more organic way.

Keeping Agency Team Members on the Same Page

Technology can also assist advertising agencies in ensuring that team members are effectively collaborating on client projects. These collaboration software tools help to create a better flow of information between those on a project. They achieve this by collecting information in a single location where it can be accessed by the entire team as needed. The centralization of project information can also make communication more efficient both between agency employees and clients as they can collaborate on the project quickly and easily. This allows for faster completion times for projects, so that ad agencies can take on more work. More work means more money.

Today's advanced collaboration tools also offer increased engagement for agency employees. This results in higher workplace satisfaction and lower turnover, which can severely disrupt an ad agency's workflow. Technology-facilitated collaboration is particularly critical for a modern workforce that are spread between several locations or that include remote team members or contractors. All team members and clients can communicate in real time from anywhere, ensuring a smoother workflow and fewer interruptions.

Like businesses in any industry, ad agencies must stay up-to-date on technology trends that affect both the way they work and how their clients function and advertise to customers. Effective use of technology can help improve advertising agency workflows through better data, improved customer-focused workflows and effective collaboration.

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