Agencies have their own too-soon and too-late conundrum. Almost all marketing and communications firms are paid to deliver business results today. Maybe, maybe they are working towards a 2-3 year horizon on a brand project. Too few are independently investing in the future but rather look to client initiatives and projects to justify a new solution in mobile, community marketing, employee advocacy or any of the other innovations that stand to radically change how we market.
The rapid growth of new behaviors like those in Mexico will not likely change, meaning, we are all ‘settling in’ for a bumpy ride of non-stop change for the foreseeable future.
Agencies have to choose if it’s their role to lead clients towards change or simply be responsive when the client comes around to changing. There are advantages to each choice. My bias is to be the agency thinking ahead and thoughtfully advising clients how to lean forward and do things that will help them for years to come.
I have heard too many agency marketers around the world say, “our clients aren’t ready to innovate via social media; they aren’t asking for it.” We need to be stronger business people clearly distinguishing between innovation with its benefits to the business and efficiency with its role to improving the bottom line today.