Agency Leaders on the Future of Agency Operations: Part 1 of 3

Posted by Deltek on May 28, 2021

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Agencies are pioneers in digital transformation and take the lead in adopting new technologies to better serve the needs of their clients. AI and automation have surfaced as important considerations for agencies looking to build more resilient and successful businesses. For many agencies, AI and automation help free up resources for more value-added tasks such as creating marketing, communications or brand strategies for customers. In addition, advanced technologies can bring an efficiency boost to agency operations through automated data analysis, rapid invoice processing and other process automation.

In our recent webinar with 4A’s, four industry experts from Tangram, R/GA, RPA, and Ogilvy shared insights on how agencies can create an environment that thrives using today’s technology and be prepared for future enhancements. Below are some key highlights from the webinar, The Future of Agency Operations.

Tech Opportunities for Agencies

With AI and automation being more readily available, there are more opportunities to streamline and improve agency operations. However, it is critical that agencies have their systems integrated and that their basic operations, such as data reporting and project management, are well-structured before implementing advanced technologies. 

“There's a huge amount of opportunity, particularly around automation, the simplification of project management, financial management tasks, and getting better insights and predictive capabilities on statements of work,” shared Helen Johnson, Managing Director at Tangram Consulting. “But I think from the agencies that we spoke to last year where the real challenge was in 2020, it really shined a light on the fact that we've still got a way to go on some of the basics to be ready for automation.”

If there is a structure in place, accurate data and efficient workflows, agencies have the possibility to alleviate administrative task time, generate better business data, and react more quickly to clients’ needs by introducing automation.


 

The Future of Agency Operations


Learn from industry experts on how agencies can thrive using today’s technology for operations.


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In addition to putting clients at the forefront, there’s also an opportunity for agencies to focus more on their own goals and initiatives as an organization.

“98% of our focus is on our clients almost all the time,” explained Tim Leake, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at RPA. “We put their best interests above our best interests, almost all the time across this industry, sometimes to a fault. But finding that opportunity for ourselves to keep our margins healthy, keep our people incentivized the right way and keep them focused on applying their thinking and their creativity -- this is the stuff that's actually the valuable part and is going to be important for us to focus on.”

When it comes to opportunities in the agency space, people and resource management are also at the center and enable a strategic vision for the future. Julie Andrews, VP, Executive Production Director at R/GA, believes the opportunity for agencies is a balance between humans and machines with the approach to building a more human future. “There's two sides of our business. There's the operational side and there's the craft side. When it comes to fewer people on the craft side for us, we're thinking hybrids and still take a more human approach to that. On the operational side, we're also taking more of a human focus, not less on the tools, but really having the tools be the enablement platforms that allow the people to work differently. It sometimes sounds like we over-correct and we like to automate, and then you automate to the detriment of the quality and the things you're actually trying to produce. So, it's definitely a balance of the humans and the machines.”

Watch the Full Webinar On-Demand

We have only covered a few of the compelling insights that came out of our conversation with these agency leaders. Watch the full webinar on-demand and invite you to read Part 2 and Part 3 of this blog series encapsulating the best sound bites and advice from this panel.