Marketing Strategies

Forrester: Agency Partnerships Speed The Innovation Journey

Why Read This Report
Over the past 24 months, CMOs have started to dedicate more resources to marketing innovation in the form of budget, talent, and labs. In addition to internal efforts, CMOs also lean on agencies to provide outside expertise, experience, and insights to help shepherd the innovation process along. Innovation agencies have developed new innovation processes, talent management, and labs that enhance their ability to help clients accelerate their efforts. This report identifies examples of successful agency and marketer partnerships that have led to transformative marketing innovations. It provides industry best practices for companies to successfully partner with these agencies and create flexible but concrete marketing innovation programs.

Innovation In Marketing Is a Business Brief, Not a Creative Brief

CMOs must go beyond the creative brief to proactively engage innovation agencies to optimize the impact on their marketing programs. Agencies must go beyond the typical pitch to bring thought leadership, partner ideas, talent, and innovation spaces to the clients. Agencies that approach innovation from an agile perspective and effectively partner with technology, development, and channel companies will be superior in guiding innovation programs. CMOs should create a business brief that:

  • Confirms the innovation methodology. CMOs need visibility into the process and methodology that innovation agencies use to create and test marketing innovation pilots to ensure that these fast-moving projects are on target. Agencies need to clearly define their processes and methodologies in the brief and showcase how they have helped previous clients innovate. They also need agencies to be open to active marketing participation in the entire process. Innovation agencies cannot just take the brief, disappear, and reappear with a finished pilot. That will slow innovation down and create unnecessary rework of pilots when speed is critical. Agencies also need transparency and access to brand insights, new products and strategies, and data to deliver innovations with big impact.
  • Requests success metrics tied to the innovation idea. It’s not enough to say that you are going to innovate. CMOs and agencies need to establish a hypothesis for success. Set clear metrics that will determine the success or failure of the innovation pilot. Knowing when to shut down failing projects quickly and move on to new pilot projects is part of the innovation process. Establishing clear success metrics will also facilitate better relationships and help you determine when to scale pilots to full operational launch.
  • Details the business value that the innovation will answer. New innovations should not only use the brand North Star as a guide but also explore the adjacent possible. Agencies will need to clearly state the business value potential for each pilot tested as part of the brief and be transparent with the client. Innovations should not be piloted just for the sake of being innovative. Agencies should help brands determine if the innovation has potential to be monetized, affect the customer experience, or increase brand engagement. This will help the CMO make sure that the innovations are on track and that results justifying the program can be presented to C-level executive leadership teams.

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Continue reading “How Smart Marketers Maximize Agency Relationships To Create Breakthrough Customer Experiences And Business Growth” by Bert DuMars.

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