Is It Time for a New Agency?
Here we are in February already. Wait, what?! February. Geesh. Well, while this may be starting off like a blog congratulating you on successfully getting through a dry January or, on the flip side of the coin, encouraging you to get back on that exercise regimen you undoubtedly fell off of a couple of weeks after making your resolution, but it’s not. It’s a call to action. We’re a month into 2024 and what I want to know is this: what is your marketing agency doing to knock your socks off?
I’m not asking because I feel like posing this question is going to get you to magically show up at the TIV Branding offices with a contract and a check. I’m asking because things have changed out there and your marketing strategies deserve a good hard look. Your agency should know this and should be proactive in planning for the year ahead. It’s what we’re doing for our clients and it’s what everyone deserves.
Based on what we’re seeing out there, the following should have already been considered when developing your strategy for the year:
AI as Part of the Toolkit
Whether it creeps you out or not, the reality is that AI is here to stay and is a powerful tool when it comes to everything from chatbots that improve website customer experience, to content creation support, and even image creation. Take the content creation piece…we’re not proponents of using AI content verbatim, but there are lots of ways to use AI to help with brainstorming, outlining and much of the grunt work that can bog down the creative process and take you away from the valuable work that goes into brand building. (Also, keep an eye out for the AI-driven website optimization techniques the TIV team is working on. More to come.)
Quality Design is at Your Fingertips
Listen, I’m a designer. I’m just as protective of what I have done for the last 25 years as the next agency designer. But the fact of the matter is there are tools to move the process along more efficiently and make designers even more productive than ever before. That fact should be reflected either in the scope of what your agency can pull off for you, or in the price you’re paying for their design services. Not to mention the fact that with all the tools available, the key now is a good eye, not the ability to run design programs. There’s nothing wrong with handling some design work internally as long as templates are acceptable.
Video Marketing is Essential
Even the ad platforms that used to rely on static images are using video these days. And the results are often substantially better. So if your agency doesn’t have video as a big part of everything they have planned for you, then push them to have another look. The thing is, video no longer requires a massive budget and a budget-breaking camera. There are movies in theaters that have been shot on iPhones, so with a couple of inexpensive add-ons you’ve got a perfectly good movie-maker in your pocket. There are times when a better camera is a good call, but not for the majority of the marketing that folks are doing these days. Short-form videos, often times taken from longer versions of videos, are great for spreading the message out across platforms. Plus, people have the attention span of a flea these days and they aren’t looking for something super produced, so quick, short-form video may be all your audience wants. Just saying.
Google’s Core Vitals
This is as technical as I’ll get today and definitely requires the attention of a good developer. To evaluate user experience, Google relies on its Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that gauge real-life user experience by evaluating page speed, interactivity, and the visual stability of web pages. But as is the Google way, Core Vitals are changing. Previously Google concentrated on the initial interaction, but their evaluation now encompasses all interactions throughout a user’s journey on a webpage and identifies the interaction with the longest delay. The short version? For some websites, this may require updating an older, more code-heavy theme to improve load times.
At the end of the day your agency should be driving your strategy and staying on top of the constantly changing marketing landscape…especially when it comes to digital. Trust the folks you hire to do what you’ve hired them to do, but there’s nothing wrong with making sure these items have been assessed and addressed.