What do you believe will be the 5 most in-demand skill-sets and capabilities that agencies will offer post Covid-19?
Before we start to answer this question, our Members and Partners provided some really useful context which will help them determine the skill-sets and capabilities required in the future.
Let’s share these first and hopefully they will lead to some thought- provoking discussions in your agencies and businesses.
Firstly, the perennial question – generalist or specialist? The view seems to favour the specialist, whether that be expertise in a particular skill-set, capability or client sector. Agencies that are specialists were seen to be at an advantage as their expertise and deeper knowledge allows them to get up to speed more quickly with their Clients and therefore be more highly valued by their Clients. Sometimes we think of specialists as smaller than generalists, but as specialists add on new skill-sets and capabilities to specialise in, are they still specialists or more of a generalist that specialises!
There is undoubtedly more Consulting type language being used, which is not so much out of fear of the Consultants, but a recognition that going forward, problem-solving, idea generation, effectiveness, delivering business results and a measurable return on investment will be key.
The third topic mentioned by the Tribe is WFH. For the foreseeable future, many of us will be working from home and any kind of return to the good old days of packed agencies is simply not going to happen. Remote leadership is hugely important as are regular communications, motivating words and celebrating every success. But what about our clients? Speaking to our Member agencies and companies such as Relationship Audits in London, we suspect that clients are viewing agencies through a Covid-19 lens. How are agencies managing remote working and the remote servicing of my business? Do they understand that my needs and requirements are changing and are they set up to respond and deliver?
And lastly technology; what should I be doing? Where does AI, machine learning marketing automation, etc fit into my business?
So, coming back to the original questions, here’s a snapshot of the research.
In terms of skill-sets, creativity was mentioned by many and not just the creative product, but a creative approach to everything both within the agency and also with clients and partners. Anything and everything digital and social. We’ve heard for many years that ‘content is king’, well, content featured strongly and was seen as a vital part of any communications strategy. Storytelling was mentioned by many and the next iteration of storytelling, story-sharing was seen as a powerful engagement strategy. Understanding data and using data to deliver more effective campaigns is really important as is performance media, both online and offline.
When it came to capabilities, this was interpreted broadly, so we have broken this in two – types of behaviour and the ability to pivot.
The following behaviours; leadership, communicators, resilience, empathy, imagination, flexibility, boldness and being disruptive were seen as essential for future success.
Does this sound like you?
Many Member agencies are talking about pivoting, but pivoting to what when the future is so unclear. Top pivot topics were greater emphasis on digital, social and data, e-commerce, consulting, problem solving and satisfying the homebound economy.
Are these the topics you are discussing within your leadership team? It would be great to have your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree.
In the next blog and newsletter, we’ll cover client needs and which sectors will bounce back and which won’t.
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