POE: Agency Structure that Puts the Customer First
It’s pretty safe to say that clients want to provide their customers with the most compelling brand experience — for less money and in less time. Especially in a world where efficiency is valued. So why do so many agencies lead with a splashy, expensive Big Idea that excites clients but doesn’t necessarily resonate with customers?
We don’t know, either. That’s why we decided to flip agency conventions on their head and completely move away from the traditional agency structure.
We walked away from departments you’ll find in a typical agency, like advertising, PR, creative and digital. Today, you will see our departments aligned with how we think about target audiences and how they consume information – by Paid, Owned and Earned channels (P-O-E).
This structure helps us live the belief that customers come first. It reflects the convergence of paid, owned and earned media and the way they work together. By changing our structure and departments to align with how we approach planning, it changes the mindsets of clients and agency alike. Importantly, we aren’t just talking about integration and Paid-Owned-Earned media; we’re living it.
By living P-O-E in our structure, we’re able to focus on what customers want to know, not just what clients want their customers to know. And, just as meaningful, how customers want to receive the information.
A decade ago, planning usually consisted of a Big Idea. Tactical development sometimes felt forced to fit with the Big Idea or disjointed. Ironically, this often put the customer in a secondary position. Agencies focused on what clients wanted to say and what would impress clients. And what impresses clients doesn’t always impress their customers. The P-O-E structure helps us escape that trap.
Once we know a client’s business objective, we dive into the customer experience and journey. We look at how they consume media and where they get information. Then we develop tactics that guide customers along the journey toward meeting their objectives. This ensures the plans we develop for clients are outcome-oriented, rather than getting caught up in an idea that seems cool in the office but doesn’t resonate with customers.
Of course, we still pride ourselves in creativity and hustle and teamwork. But the Paid-Owned-Earned structure allows us to tailor strategic marketing communications plans for every situation, putting our best foot forward for clients of any size .
After all, the biggest creative idea doesn’t matter if it doesn’t appear where the customers are.
Stay tuned… In coming weeks, we’ll introduce you to the Planning & Integration group, take a deeper dive into each of the components of Paid, Owned and Earned channels and explore how strategy fits into the mix.