There are just about 40,000 marketing and advertising agencies in the United States, generating almost 44 billion dollars worth of revenue. However, competition in the agency space has become fierce as client spending has waned: industry revenue growth broke the 2% mark only twice since 2010.
Agency spending is slowly starting to increase again, but those dollars come with an enormous amount of pressure. To stay in the running, a modern agency not only has to be competent in the industries it serves, but must also demonstrate a thorough, comprehensive approach to leveraging technology in today’s marketplace. As a result, agencies must showcase tech savvy as core to their brand and value proposition, and it must be self-evident from the first impression.
Establish Technical Credibility Before the Pitch
The Harvard Business Review predicts that technologies like virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and robotic automation will completely disrupt almost every industry in the world. Analysts like McKinsey anticipate that modern hardware and software such as AI could fundamentally alter as much as 45% of the current job market.
For agencies, these technologies will not only prove critical to their business efficiency, but also to their brands. It’s important for agencies to establish their technical credibility long before a client pitch, and for many firms, that means making a hi-tech first impression in their headquarters.
There are a variety of devices that can be used to add digital credibility to an agency’s physical office. Touchscreens, digital whiteboards, augmented reality glasses - such tools are easily leveraged to create a more engaging, entertaining experience for clients while subtly showcasing a firm’s dedication to innovation. Each of these devices create a technology-first feel to an office space and bring a level of interactivity to an otherwise static environment. They also, though, fall short compared to the experience created by humanoid robotics.
Humanoid Robotics Personifies Brand Innovation
Humanoid robotics present multiple unique advantages to agencies. As an example, SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper functions as the perfect host to incoming guests. What sets the four-foot tall robot apart from other devices is its use of advanced emotional recognition, natural language processing, and interactive software to engage visitors.
Pepper is proactively interactive, meaning it initiates two-way games, activities, and conversations with waiting guests while notifying employees of new arrivals. When a guest first enters through the door, Pepper automatically calls them over to greet them. It can then notify the proper employee of their guests’ arrival, and entertain them in a variety of ways until someone comes. In addition to dancing, telling jokes, and posing for selfies, the most important feature Pepper has is the ability to tell a compelling story about the agency to every prospective customer, including the company’s history, values, mission, and approach.
“Clients always expect creative agency offices to be interesting, and with Pepper it gives them something fun and engaging right when they walk in the front door.” – Steve Fuller, President, Kovel-Fuller Advertising Agency
Voice analysis, facial recognition, and natural language processing are all technologies that are driving marketing and customer service. Pepper leverages these advancements to create a richer, more engaging experience for potential clients. By deploying Pepper, an agency gains several instant advantages:
- Physically illustrating to clients the wave of advanced technologies that will fundamentally transform marketing and business in the next decade;
- Creating a phenomenal conversation starter around the use and adoption of technology;
- Positioning Pepper as a proven value-add to new clients - one which said agency has unique expertise in utilizing, and;
- Augmenting the role of a human receptionist by creating a seamless, automated check-in process
The Bottom Line
Demonstrating tech savvy is a critical component of any agency’s brand. The way we leverage hi-tech devices fundamentally illustrates our comfort, familiarity, and expertise with emerging technologies. As the agency space gets more competitive, the most successful firms will have a strong track record of performance, as well as a dedication to innovation. To establish immediate credibility with customers, agencies will need to adopt and embrace technology as a cornerstone of how they operate, and as a cornerstone of their very brand.
Humanoid robotics provide an affordable way for agencies to impress visiting VIPs, creating a memorable engagement for every person that walks through the door, and associating the firm’s brand with the spirit of innovation.