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Successful agency and client partnerships are built on data and insight

Successful agency and client partnerships are built on data and insight
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Trends in consumer behavior have changed and accelerated at a rapid pace due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions imposed on people around the world. For example, digital activity – in terms of content consumption and e-commerce – rose during lockdowns with only slight declines when more material freedoms were granted. Online sales in the UK grew 46% in 2020, driven in part by a 79.3% increase in food sales, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In light of this, digital intelligence platform Slick Web hosted a panel as part of The Drum’s Agencies4Growth, to discuss the most relevant consumer trends, and to consider how brands can best serve audiences through content and creativity, and how agencies can be. Better prepared to adapt to client needs.

The session was moderated by Jenny Baker, Associate Editor at The Drum, and the session included Thomas Seleucas, Industry Consultant at Likeweb; Cathy Butler, Executive Director, Organic Digital Agency; And Anthony Nogueira, Managing Director and Owner of Integrated Media Agency I.

The founder of Ai Noguera, who primarily works with clients in the film and theater space, noted that social media and other digital channels have not only become increasingly important for brands and agencies looking to connect with consumers, but “we’re starting to see very big changes in the length of time that People were spending online and the content they were consuming. We had classic clips from some of our properties, which had 60 to 70 million organic accesses during the shutdown, which had far more access than brand-new content from new movies.”

Butler at Organic spoke about some of the sectors that have seen the biggest changes in consumer behavior: “I think there are likely to be smaller purchases that do well – quick service restaurants for example – but the larger ticket items are hampered by finances, as is the supply chain.”

What about the agency’s role in helping brands take advantage of these changes rather than get left behind? “This is a prime example of agencies entering because a lot of companies weren’t willing to use paid search or display ads to promote their product when they had the biggest advantage in the last 20 years probably to add market share from this additional demand in their portfolio,” said Seleucas of a similar site. .

Noguera added that this changed the nature of the agency/client relationship in some cases: “The good agencies out there ended up taking on a lot of responsibility with clients and were able to not only scale production, but in terms of support.”

Butler noted that the growing importance of data and the agency’s role in this remains a huge problem: “It means a more in-depth understanding of specific customer segments or customer audience segments, so we can really help them decide where and how to spend their money in some way, not in spaces Great, but as much as their business can handle on a monthly basis. That brings more strategies, more data into our business, and builds our expertise there.”

But what do agencies need to think about now to build a better understanding of both consumers and brands?

“A lot of clients want the extra comfort that comes from knowing what’s going on, and when it’s happening,” Seliukas said. “Like if something has changed in the last week, or in the last two weeks, it’s about increasing monitoring, basically giving context and the comfort you can provide for them to make better decisions.”

The team session concluded with key takeaways from each expert. Noguera emphasized that there is a growing reliance on data, “but understanding the necessity of interpreting that data is really important,” while Butler focused on the topic of “helping our customers develop a multi-year roadmap for their digital businesses.”

Meanwhile, Seleucas concluded that there was a danger in resorting to “vanity scales.” He said brands and their agencies should instead focus on understanding changing consumer behavior by identifying “the most important and timely data.”

He said agency and client dynamics have never been more important because of the pace of change: “You have to have a good agency partner next to you who has experience in implementing this.”

You can watch the full panel discussion, Understanding your customer through a consumer lens, here

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