Mary Beth KempEarlier this year, Pete Kim and I published  “The Connected Agency”, which looked at the future of advertising agencies.  The idea was to get people talking…and that it did. 

Since the piece came out, I’ve hosted a couple of Agency breakfasts, both here in Paris and in London.  And have also been invited to exchange with some agency teams.  Every time, the conversation was lively, interesting. 

Rather than summarize all the discussions in a research report and push it back at you, I thought it would be more pertinent, and certainly more fun, to continue the conversation with you online.  To kick things off, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll post about those offline exchanges we’ve had. 

The bottom line is most people I spoke with believe agencies have to change. The model we proposed might not be quite the right one; perhaps just one model is too limited for different types of agencies and clients; and surely the timing we put forward is too aggressive (agency management hopes). 

What do you think? 

How do agencies change to take advantage of technology?  How do they change to keep in contact with consumers who avoid, block and distrust advertising?  How do they keep being relevant when there are ad exchanges to manage media placement; and creative networks to deliver content?   

What do you think?   I look forward to ‘talking’ with you. 

In case you haven’t read the research yet, here is the executive summary.  And if you’re a Forrester client, you can access the full report here.

Today’s agencies fail to help marketers engage with consumers, who, as a result, are becoming less brand-loyal and more trusting of each other. To turn the tide, marketers will move to the Connected Agency — one that shifts: from making messages to nurturing consumer connections; from delivering push to creating pull interactions; and from orchestrating campaigns to facilitating conversations. Over the next five years, traditional agencies will make this shift; they will start by connecting with consumer communities and will eventually become an integral part of them.

Pete captured quite a few of the online comments in a blog post that you can find on his blog.