May 14, 2021
We’ve all witnessed the scenes of hysteria in retail stores during Black Friday. What we haven’t witnessed is the frenzy that takes place in marketing agencies for months leading up to it. All clients demand your undivided attention and expect an impressive return on investment. Marketing agencies, we feel your pain. Through the art of a slightly overstretched cellular narrative, I will demonstrate why software is the foundation for having a clear overview and increasing your clients’ ROI.
Bear with me.
The first commercially available handheld mobile phones had one simple function. And shock, that was to make phone calls. As they became more popular, the number of functions began to increase. Not only due to technical innovation but also consumer demand.
The first notable applications that were introduced were contacts and SMS. To be at the forefront of personal communication prior to these features, you needed so much stuff. Address books, directories, stamps, envelopes, postcards. It just wasn’t manageable and required invention and innovation.
New apps continued being introduced. They would absorb and replace now borderline immaterial inventions. While, at the same time, continue to push the boundaries of technology. The calculator, the watch (sorry, Casio), the calendar, GPS devices, the camera, the internet, journals, spreadsheets, and more were made redundant by the ever-innovating mobile phone.
Fast-forwarding to 2021, the smartphone is indispensable. The pressure to continue innovating and adding more features is immeasurable. If the smartphone isn’t performing neurosurgery in the next decade, people will question whether they actually need this miracle of technology that lives in their pockets. Tell me if I’m wrong, but this isn’t too different from the expectations placed on a marketing agency from its clients; is it?
Though the marketing agency started with streamlined responsibilities. Today, the demand to grow, adapt, and improve is huge. Marketing agencies manage multiple clients from various industries with completely different requirements and measures of success. Much like a smartphone is expected to be an excellent phone, camera, diary, personal computer, and now fitness companion. Marketing agencies are expected to be excellent copywriters, strategists, advertising experts, marketplace gurus, teachers, and therapists. It’s a hideously difficult task. And without a transparent, clear overview it becomes an impossible one.
The smartphone is the archetype of a transparent, clear overview. It manages hundreds of applications with different functions and can be incredibly personalized. But how does the smartphone achieve this and what can marketing agencies learn from it? Let’s do a direct comparison.
The hardware in a smartphone can be compared to the people like yourself working in a marketing agency. It all comes down to potential. The quality of the hardware determines which and how many applications (features) a phone can potentially perform at a high level. Those working in a marketing agency do exactly the same thing. The ability to be able to meet all the desired expectations of different clients (users) is completely dependent on the quality of the team.
Looking at the image above, we’ve gone through the user, the application, and the hardware. So what about the operating system?
The operating system unlocks the potential of the hardware. Without a robust and flexible operating system, applications couldn’t run at an optimal level. Meaning either downgrading to a lesser quality application or not being able to meet user expectations. This is exactly the same as the software used in a marketing agency. In order to fulfill the potential of the team and to meet the expectations of clients, the software used needs to be both robust and flexible.
But it’s not just about being robust and flexible. Operating systems need to continually develop in order to manage more demanding applications and users, more applications in general, and improve UX. And it’s the same with software. As client demands increase with new platforms, technologies, best practices, etc. marketing agencies are expected to innovate. This can only be achieved with leading software and platforms that continually improve.
With all this considered, it becomes obvious that the operating system (or the software used in marketing agencies) is the reason the smartphone is the blueprint for a transparent, clear
Let’s look at the iPhone. The user-friendly interface of the operating system and its ability to use a large number of high-quality optimized applications make it stand out from the crowd. It’s exactly the same with software and platforms. We conducted a survey with close to 80 marketing agencies and, to no surprise, a friendly UX and extensive functionalities were at the top of their wishlist.
Second to that was the price. The commoditization of the smartphone means that you no longer need to pay thousands of dollars for high-quality products that can rival Apple’s iPhone - enter Huawei. Software has gone through the same process. It’s no longer necessary to spend a large portion of your budget on big names and service costs. You can find robust, flexible, and innovative software that does exactly the same thing for a fraction of the price.
Black Friday is a hectic period for marketing agencies. Equipping your team with software and platforms that require little-to-no maintenance is invaluable. It should be intuitive, simple to use, optimized for multiple tasks, and transparently and fairly priced. It should provide solutions for the eclectic demands of multiple clients and, most importantly, give you a clear overview of all your clients’ accounts and activities. This will allow you to better understand how to improve the performance of your marketing efforts and increase ROI for your clients.
Want examples of marketing agencies who have found their ideal platforms? Channable has a number of inspiring success stories from various marketing agencies that can be found here.