In February 2008, I co-authored a Forrester report called The Connected Agency with Mary Beth Kemp (who is now at Ogilvy in Paris).
At the time, we observed that different types of agencies faced different challenges:
- Traditional agencies were stuck in mass media mindsets
- Digital agencies understood interaction but lacked branding chops
- Specialists were creating new silos instead of integrating
Our solution was a model called The Connected Agency, focusing on three key shifts:
This prescription was based in no small part to the shifts underway in the digital marketing and social media landscape. While we didn’t get the answer entirely right (i.e. that agencies would integrate with communities), the shift from blasting out push messaging to facilitating consumer experiences is well underway.
If you want an adaptive company, you will need to unleash the creative forces in your organization, so people have the freedom to deliver value to customers and respond to their needs more dynamically. One way to do this is by enabling small, autonomous units that can act and react quickly and easily, without fear of disrupting other business activities – pods.
A pod is a small, autonomous unit that is enabled and empowered to deliver the things that customers value.
Six years after The Connected Agency, I think it’s time to revisit the model and incorporate the lessons learned from years of social business design.