Future-Proofing Creative Agencies: Adapting to Changing Client Expectations

September 14, 2023
4 minute read

In the marketing industry, things are more competitive than ever. That’s partially due to rapid evolutions in technology, customer needs, and client expectations. If you want your creative agency to thrive rather than just survive, you’ll need to know how to stay nimble and adapt to shifting client expectations over the next several years.

Fortunately, you can do just that by keeping a few key strategies and approaches in mind. Let’s take a closer look.


How Are Client Expectations Changing for Creative Agencies?

Over the last several years, clients for marketing firms and agencies have changed their expectations, and they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Let’s take a look at how shifting client expectations might impact your creative agency’s objectives in the short to mid-term future.

Flexible Communication

First and foremost, creative agency clients now expect very flexible, immediate communications with their marketing team members.

In essence, your clients might now expect you (or your brand’s point of contact for that client, at any rate) to be available 24/7. They might also expect several different communication channels, like email communications, phone calls, online chats, and much more.

The modern market is incredibly busy and agile, so your clients might need to get in touch with you at odd times. Prioritize flexible communication and, if possible, make sure that there’s always a point of contact staff member available to speak to your most important clients. This will help your client feel prioritized and taken care of, in addition to showing just how dedicated you are to your client base.

Human-Centric Marketing

Many marketing clients now want creative agencies and marketing firms to prioritize human-centric marketing at all costs. This generally takes the form of personalized marketing, but it can also include shifting customer experience (CX) to reflect a more user-friendly or human-centric approach.

As an example, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a brand that gives them a personalized experience as opposed to a generalized experience.

Therefore, many brands want creative agencies to come up with human-centric, personalized marketing materials, ranging from personalized emails to more comprehensive, audience-tailored marketing campaigns.

Through human-centric marketing, your clients will have better overall advertising results, and they’ll be more likely to turn to your team again and again whenever they need new advertisements, a new marketing campaign, or another new solution to reach out to their target audience members.

Stronger Ability to Show ROI

In addition to the above, many clients expect their creative agencies to provide stronger, more “solid” ROI or return on investment. Rather than focusing on what your marketing efforts cost and similar KPIs, you’ll need to show just how your marketing efforts:

  • Provide a numbers-based, tactile return on investment for your clients
  • Help your clients achieve concrete goals, like a higher conversion rate
  • Can probably be shown to be the major factor that results in improvements in ROI, not just random chance

Put another way, clients no longer take marketing firms’ claims that their work is successful on faith. You’ll need to be able to prove it.

This might require determining new key performance indicators to measure and provide to your clients throughout a new marketing strategy or campaign. It might also involve regular checkups with your clients over the progress of their campaigns – that way, your firm can quickly adapt its approach or change strategies when necessary.


How to Future-Proof Your Creative Agency

With the above-shifting client expectations, you need to make sure that your creative agency can meet those expectations time and again. On the bright side, there are several things you can do and adopt starting today.

Integrate New Tools and Technologies

Firstly, you can and should try to integrate new tools and technologies into your marketing firm and its processes at the earliest opportunity. Basic tools like software for converting PDF to Word documents are, of course, very helpful. This is because PDF documents can be difficult to edit in PDF form, but adding text or images can become much easier in a Word doc format. 

But you’ll also want to adopt specialized tools specifically for your creative brand. As an example, creative project management software (PMS) can help track clients, manage resources, assign team members to different projects, and more. Before, it was a novelty, but the need for optimized workflows has turned it into a necessity. 

You’ll also want to adopt more remote work technologies, particularly for interfacing with distant clients. Webcams, video conferencing software, and time-tracking tools will allow you to make the most of the modern, remote workforce, plus employ remote employees without worrying that they are wasting time.

Prioritize Value When Measuring Metrics

When you measure your metrics to show your creative clients how your marketing approaches are faring so far, you’ll want to prioritize raw values, like conversion rate, number of new customers gained, and subscription numbers.

The more tangible the value you can provide to your clients, the happier they will be with your services and the more likely they will be to hire you again and again. While it’s true that marketing is something of an art and that not all benefits are easily measurable, clients need to know that your creative agency can get the job done in a concrete way before they will put their ultimate faith in you.

Include Specialists/Diversify Your Team

At the same time, modern creative clients want to know that the most difficult challenges are tackled by specialists or experts in a particular field. For example, they might want your creative agency to have a PPC specialist or social media manager to handle ads on Facebook or Instagram, and so on.

If you haven’t already, it might be a good idea to diversify your team and include more experts and specialists in your repertoire. In this way, you’ll be able to provide more focused services to your clients, thereby improving the value your creative firm can bring to the table.

As an added bonus, the inclusion of specialists in your marketing team will help you come up with novel, innovative approaches to solve your client’s needs. That’s a particularly useful benefit, given that many brands are looking for new, highly effective marketing techniques and strategies.

Foster Human Relationships with Clients

Perhaps most importantly, you’ll also want to foster real, human connections with your clients. You can do this in a few different ways, like giving them a set point of contact or representative to speak to every time. This will help you build up a relationship with the client that feels more grounded and solid.

But you can and should also:

  • Remember the key data points and preferences of each of your clients
  • Ensure that you personalize the services to each of your clients (such as by using project management software or customer relationship management software)
  • Be open to the adoption and development of cutting-edge PMS and CRM tools 

Wrap Up

Ultimately, the above strategies will help your creative agency stay effectively future-proof. Even better, you'll be one of the most desirable and in-demand creative agencies in your niche. Consider adopting these approaches today, and start thinking about how you can supercharge your projects and integrate your objectives with Workamajig.


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