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In last week's instalment of Event's Brand Experience report 2016 on the agency landscape, industry experts cited a saturated marketplace as one of the biggest challenges. So what other things have affected the agency world over the past 12 months, and what are brand experience agencies’ thoughts on prospects?
Jessica Hargreaves, joint managing director at Pretty Green, points out that the landscape is constantly evolving"as agencies see the potential for adopting new trends to grow their offering and drive revenue".
This has resulted in pure experiential agencies expanding their remit to include social and digital output. "The opportunity lies in capturing and sharing content with quick turnaround, and acting like 24-hour newsrooms," Hargreaves says.
On the topic of constant evolution, Phil Carter, board director at Iris Culture, says that "within agencies, the make-up of a project team needs to be flexible to best suit different types of campaigns; adaptability has become crucial as clients look to agencies to fulfil a more integrated brief."
Carter believes the most successful agencies will be those that are agile in nature and capable of forming multi-disciplined and multi-layered project teams, which can turn around innovative and creative work across any platform.
Something mentioned by a number of brand experience professionals was a "blurring of the lines" between experiential and other forms of marketing, which Hargreaves believes is a positive for the industry.
"Pretty Green started life as a PR agency and still has this focus in its DNA, but we looked ahead. By creating our own experiences, which are shareable and fully integrated with social media, we have been able to ensure the experiences we create go beyond the event and deliver brand fame," she explains.
Nick Adams, managing director at Sense, says one of the biggest changes is that agencies are labelling what they do by discipline far less than they used to, and are instead working to an ‘ideas first’ mentality. "What we are seeing more of now is clients getting agencies together to come up with a core creative before deciding how to activate it, and thinking about the most appropriate channels for the idea," he says. "Experiential is rising to the top on many occasions, which has come about through consumers changing. How they interact with brands is also changing."
Adams says that as an agency, Sense is not having to sell the discipline as much as before, because brands are naturally arriving at it.
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