What a time to be a marketing communications professional.
Not so long ago, we referred to ourselves as a full-service advertising agency. We hired the right kind of talent with the right kind of background that enabled us to offer clients everything and anything they might need to support their marketing communications programs. That full-service menu included creative (art and copy), account service and strategy, and media planning and placement (for broadcast, print, out-of-home), along with the requisite syndicated software (such as Nielsen, Arbitron, MRI, Scarborough, the SRDS, SQAD, and so on). Heck, we even offered public relations, print production, event marketing, trade show and direct marketing, broadcast production, and even market research strategy and counsel for qualitative and quantitative endeavors. Whew.
We had all the obligatory titles as well. Creative directors. Art directors. Designers. Production artists. Copywriters. Media directors. Media planners and buyers. Print production and broadcast production managers. Traffic managers. Proofreaders. Editors. Management supervisors. Account supervisors. Senior account executives. Junior account executives. Account coordinators. You get the picture. We had it all and we were proud to call ourselves a full-service agency. We focused on big strategy, big creative ideas, and big media solutions that were always negotiated aggressively. And we supported everything with outstanding customer service that kept clients happy, engaged, and most importantly, paying bills on time.
Fast-forward a few short years to 2015. The definition of full-service shop has changed quite significantly.
Have we been keeping up? You bet! In addition to the disciplines mentioned earlier, we now offer current and prospective clients digital, social, and analytics. And we have more titles. Digital strategists. Content strategists. Front- and back-end program specialists. UX managers. Social media strategists. Community managers. Analytics managers. Analysts. Even email specialists. The list goes on. We’ve also expanded our planning and analytic tools by investing in software like Radian6, eMarketer, and NVivo.
And it all has meaning far beyond fancy titles. We can now create fully integrated campaigns that are truly fully integrated. In this evolving digital age, nothing exists in a vacuum – nor should it. It’s all connected and the possibilities are endless. Something’s not working? Let’s change it! We not only monitor and report activity associated with ROI – with the power of predictive modeling, we now can anticipate future outcomes of campaign efficacy. We don’t have the right tool for the job? Let’s create it! We’re better equipped than ever before to serve clients’ evolving marketing needs. When we say full-service, we mean it.
What’s occurred in our industry over the past 10 years will no doubt continue to transform. Our business in 2025 will look nothing like it does today. The appetite for knowledge, fueled partly by technology and partly by innate human curiosity, will ensure the pace of change not only continues but accelerates. And I, for one, consider myself extremely lucky to bear witness to this dynamic. And to call myself a marketing communications professional.