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Brand, Campaigns & Content October 09, 2017

5 Key Learnings for Digital Agencies From Econsultancy’s 2017 Report


The Top 100 Digital Agencies report produced by Econsultancy is the conclusive listing of the UK’s most reputable digital agencies. Free to download for Econsultancy subscribers, you can gain access to the full report here. The paper features comprehensive analysis and expert opinion on the current digital landscape in the UK, alongside a breakdown of each of the listed agencies to support client-side professionals to select the best digital partner to meet their objectives. Dept UK is featured in the report and has moved up 20 rankings in just 12-months to position 64.

Top 100 Digital Agencies Report 2017

The 64-page report also includes editorial articles which investigate pressing issues in the industry. From the shift towards personalisation strategies, Customer Experience challenges and service over product models, we’ve summarised the pivotal points.

1. Personalisation

Technology undoubtedly underpins insight and action, but marketers must remember the importance of deepening relationships with a distinctly human touch. A solid personalisation strategy that blends human understanding with technology will enable process efficiency and accurate data analysis to deliver meaningful insights.

In simple terms, this process helps to define the key characteristics of your audience types – what content they find most enticing and where best to place this content on their user journey to encourage them to engage and convert.

As we stride into the late Tenties, savvy CMOs are arming themselves with dynamic technology solutions to marry a deep understanding of individuals’ preferences for both products and content.

This deep, one-on-one understanding of each consumer, along with scalable algorithm-based machine learning, will allow for progressive real-time delivery of personalised online experiences. Their reward for this investment? Lifetime customer loyalty, an impressive ROI, and kudos in the boardroom. You can read our whitepaper on personalisation ‘Making Digital Human’ here.

2. Technology with a Human Touch

Simultaneously, marketers need to be watchful with their over-reliance on tech. Programmatic advertising, for example, is a relatively new addition to many marketers’ toolkits but the report suggests that some marketers aren’t achieving the right balance between technology and creative.

As marketing technology develops, agencies have the opportunity to act as trusted advisors at the forefront of digital. Tech utilisation and data analytics are highly valued areas of counsel by brand marketers, but this doesn’t mean that creativity can be sacrificed.

Embrace technology, but never forget the power of human intelligence. In the end, we should never forget that we are all human.

3. Customer Experience

One of the top priorities for brands in 2017 is gaining mastery of customer experience (CX). While gathering, analysing and using customer data remains a challenge for many brands, agencies must seize this opportunity to add value to the services they provide for their clients.

An area of weakness for many companies is simply not having the analysts they need to make sense of data. In 2016 only 37% of client-side survey respondents agreed that they did have enough analysts, with 41% saying they have a good infrastructure in place to collect the data. Discover more of our insight on CX, here.


4. Changing Skillset of Agencies

Many agencies entering the Top 100 this year noted their adoption of a consulting mindset and the changing skillset required of agencies. Agencies are now shifting from being vertical specialists to being high level, all-encompassing advisors. Agencies are no longer simply responding to client briefs but are instead focusing on helping clients find problems to solve, offering actionable tasks and solutions.

5. Global Distribution of Talent

To survive in this competitive environment, skills need to be smart and teams need to be specialised. Diverse teams of people with the right skills are important for agencies seeking to differentiate themselves through strategy, specialisation and digital expertise, this golden combination can be hard to find under one roof.

Agencies need a strong community of specialists with agility and expertise that can be scaled internationally. It’s this collaboration that allows agencies to work in seamless, multi-disciplinary teams that deliver exceptional outcomes for clients.

How IS Dept responding to these priorities?

Personalisation, human intelligence, customer experience, skillset development and global distribution of talent – these may be aspirations for some agencies, but these are very much at the heart of Dept’s strategy.

Several different international branches of Dept are currently collaborating to develop the digital experience of Triumph Motorcycles across 55 different countries. We’ve been working together to combine creativity, data and technology to increase the global online presence of the British brand.

The prerequisite of this project was to deliver improved customer experience through personalisation. Collaboration was needed in order to meet and exceed this objective. The thought-leaders at Dept in the Netherlands imparted their conceptual guidance and strategy which Dept UK then developed and delivered. Performance and distribution experts in Rotterdam supported with online activity to secure a strong online presence which is in a cycle of continuous optimisation with Dept UK.


Max Pinas, Dept Creative Director in Rotterdam highlights that:

“By combining all the expertise that we as Dept have, we can fulfil the role of digital partner with regard to all the various expertises.”

The Multi-Agency Model

So much of marketers’ time is going to management of resources, rather than actual execution of ideas and projects. They need partners that cannot only help them to streamline their workflows and tools but also are skilled in collaboration. This multi-agency model is the most efficient way for brands to ensure they tick all boxes, and see the bigger picture of the ever-evolving industry landscape.

Our international network of leading digital agencies delivers from our offices across Europe and the US. 600 of the most talented and experienced people in our industry combine creativity, technology and data to deliver digital products and services that build brands, grow businesses and make people’s lives easier.

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