I'm increasingly looking to big tech for inspiration for growth for my live and virtual agency.
To be clear, we use platforms and channels to reach clients and promote our services; that’s not the growth I’m referring to.
Like many, 2020 left a big gap in our revenues and those of our clients. The race is now on to recover not only last year’s lost revenue but to grab every growth opportunity in 2021. But the old way suddenly feels so, well, old.
The rapid expansion and demand for virtual solutions during lockdown offered us the opportunity to work with clients and service partners in new ways with new tech, creating new content delivered to new audiences in new ways. Every day brought something new to solve, explore and share. Our growth model should surely be new too.
Who better to look to than the biggest, most profitable and fastest growing companies on the planet right now, with apologies to Elon (Musk).
The big four – Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (or Gafa as an abridged collective) – are behind my new growth mindset. If you can get beyond some of their morally questionable activities and focus on their core growth technique – constant incremental improvements after every transactional moment, instantly embedded to improve the contextual experience for the buyers towards encouraging the next transaction. Rinse, repeat.
At the very core of each company’s operating model is the algorithmically empowered perpetual learning and improvement discipline that inches every key metric forward with every engagement. Critically, this happens automatically, every time, instantly. Every single occasion you engage with any of the Gafa’ers they’re ‘thinking’, ‘learning’ and ‘adjusting’ to improve your experience from their platform solutions.
Granted it is with the ultimate purpose – sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle and often sneaky – to create another transactional moment. To sell you something again. To be fair that’s the ambition of every business and at the core of every marketing campaign despite what marketers might say.
But for many businesses this ‘transactional’ learning journey occurs as a weekly sales update meeting with outdated and disconnected systems, incomplete data sets, limited insights into dominant trends and amongst humans with disparate needs from the session. Does this sound like your journey? It used to be mine.
We’re pretty obsessed about servicing our clients brilliantly, about delivering class leading solutions and ensuring we build experiences not just projects, but we’re clearly lightweights relative to the Gafa heavies.
For a small specialist agency, we make reasonable
use of ‘smart’ tech to manage and run our business, but there is so much runway to get significantly better at knowing what our clients want and need before they do. And to then make it readily available at scale. Our readiness with virtual solutions helped during lockdown but now it’s time to turn our attention to what’s coming next.
And with massive growth expected in virtual solutions as platforms improve to meet demand, we collectively use them in more nuanced and suitable ways to improve client experiences. Along with the much-anticipated return of in-person live event marketing channels, it seems appropriate to think and act more like the big four than ever before.
Just think about what Microsoft and Salesforce must be planning for us that we haven’t even begun to imagine.
Bring it on in ‘21.