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Rupert Carter Rupert Carter Managing Director , Ci (Consumer Insight)
The realities of agency transformation

The realities of agency transformation

Editor’s note: for external consultants like me, it’s easy to prescribe simplistic remedies and gloss over the practical challenges that agencies face. ‘Autonomating’ agencies – read more in this post – may sound like a no-brainer - but in reality, it’s not so easy when you have to juggle the needs of existing team members and clients.

Rupert’s experience of a successful agency turnaround has some great lessons for agencies embarking on their own transformation journey.

The agency leaders’ perspective

Ci has been going for nearly 30 years, but when I took over 6 years ago the energy and direction it had been founded with had waned, there’d been heavy staff turnover at a senior level, and things were drifting.

Turnover had dropped two thirds in an incredibly tough climate; but in the last 6 years we’ve more than doubled, with headcount swelling from 11 to 25 full-time.

This shift is against a backdrop of two radical changes in client demands and expectations

Everything is demonstrably faster

Less time in field, shorter timelines for reporting (particularly for tracking), and much higher expectations when it comes to basic responsiveness. Emails need a reply within minutes rather than 24 hours.

Value expectations have increased

The growth and proliferation of more and more data and the ability to source survey data in-house means we have to work harder than ever to highlight our added value. We no longer provide data with some thinking on top; we provide consultation evidenced with data – and how we collect and manage the data is something we’re trusted to get on with. Clients don’t need to see all the workings.

When you look at these challenges, technology is clearly one part of the solution: it can speed things up and, in doing so, free up time for thinking and consultancy, with less time spent gathering, managing and manipulating data.

But I can only give it credit for – at most - 20% or 30% of the change. By far the biggest impact has come from hiring, developing and supporting the best talent.

Read the full article here on Insight Platforms.

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