June 2, 2020

What are the major trends in the agency business?

By Katie Samoleski

Appeared in Agri-Marketing May/June 2020 edition.

As an agency that specializes in both agriculture and marketing, we find ourselves anticipating and adjusting for trends in both industries full-time. Some trends get our creative brains firing, like augmented reality or voice search. Others challenge us to pivot from old ways of thinking, like the changing media consumption habits of farmers and ranchers. But the greatest trends in the agency world aren’t new digital tools or technology – they’re the structure and processes that allow us to stay ahead of the curve, anticipate disruption and pivot quickly when needed 

 1. Agility is key

Agencies have always been quick to adjust, but reactive doesn’t cut it – we must plan for and anticipate change. We can learn that from our agriculture roots, where the volatility of markets, trade and weather has long required farmers and agricultural professionals to anticipate plan B and beyond.  

Agility extends to how we build our teams, too. The teams and the people in them must be proactive, scalable, nimble and responsive. We never want to be behind the curve, behind the season or behind technology – not adapting to the needs of the industry we serve is a fast-track to failure. 

 2. Integrated strategies for campaigns that resonate 

The old agency model built silos around departments like research, digital, public relations and media. We know now that the right idea can, and should, come to life across multiple channels and disciplines under the umbrella of a smart, creative strategy 

It’s not just efficient to create collaborative, cross-functional teams, it’s essential to the success of campaigns where every touchpoint matters. Successful agencies understand that the opportunity is far greater than the channel, and create exciting, cohesive initiatives with outstanding results.  

3. Insights put your customer front and center 

Agencies are realigning to focus on real insights, whether that’s with in-house research and insights capabilities or with trusted partners. These insights are creating wins for clients with more customer-focused marketing that reaches your audience where they are with the solutions they need. 

The need to not only conduct research but to pull real and actionable insights inspired the creation of AdFarm’s AgIntel platform, which captures critical market insights and translates them into smart strategies and creative executions for our clients. 

With the right insights, a culture of agility and integrated teams, we can create brilliant campaigns that keep our clients, and agencies, one step ahead.  

Katie Samoleski is AdFarm’s Director of Client Services, resident show-tune singer and mom to four kids who all hate different foods. She subscribes to the personal belief that big ideas come from everywhere—the difference between success and failure lives in execution.