My Take on The Connected Agency

14 Jan

OK, I think everyone’s read the Forrester thing, “The Connected Agency” by Mary Beth Kemp and Peter Kim (alright…maybe not everyone…) Yeah, I think it’s interesting, too. About a year ago, they said that agencies will home in on communities…as needed. They said that according to client needs, agencies would develop relationships in specific channels – delivering interactive campaigns…eventually yielding common community insights, across brands.

Well, I don’t know about that. Last year, I sketched something that shows a model where an agency might actually develop and maintain reputation in a series of topics. Here it is…check it out. You may have seen it on this blog before, in fact.

How will roles in the agency evolve? Will the new agency role require social reputation?

How will roles in the agency evolve? Will the new agency role require social reputation?

Normally, from engagement to engagement, we, reach out and converse with communities of interest as agency/brand ambassadors. Sometimes we’d just provide insight on a community of interest; sometimes we build communities or “enable conversations” – but, as people, we probably don’t get too involved. When that project or client relationship is over, any reputation we might have been able to build, as people, in that topic, often evaporates.

What if part of agency folks’ measured performance was related to developing reputation in topics of their interest? What if part of our job was to be honestly interested and engaged socially in topics of our interest? So often, we provide an entrance into a series of conversations on behalf of a brand. We hope that brands are honestly interested in the conversations (many are not).

Yeah. So, why is it that most of us spend so much time in Social Media talking about…Social Media? Is that what we’re honestly interested in? How many alter-personalities do we all have? Do I only know everyone via day job? @Armano commonly blurs between his day-job-ness and good-doing. @Jaybaer has a food critic podcast (I think…although, living in Flagstaff, won’t he be “done” pretty soon with covering restaurants in the area?)

What if hospitality companies came to @Jaybaer for his foodie know-how? When does @Armano stop being VisualMan and become PhilanthroMan? How durable and valuable is our topic specific reputation? How valuable is this to the agency? To the customer? I wonder when the black art of Social Media will just become common knowledge and each of us will either be gainfully employed via our reputation (position in crowds) or we’ll have rushed on to the next black art.

2 Responses to My Take on The Connected Agency


Jason Baer

January 14th, 2009 at 8:57 am

I totally agree with this line of reasoning. An agency is about it’s PEOPLE, not about the agency. It ain’t Japan, follks. Thus, the more your agency folks can get out there and participate and engage in social media and otherwise, their influence will grow proportionately (and by the transitive postulate, so will the agency’s).

At Off Madison Ave in Phoenix (where I used to work, and still consult) all employees are encouraged to participate in social media daily on company time, not to mention out-of-office group participation, etc. This just helps the agency’s brand.

In terms of my award-winning podcast (best podcast produced by a Baer family member) Hottie & The Fatso, there are more than 100 restaurants in Flagstaff. So, we have a bit of ground to cover yet.

Today’s edition > Mama Luisa’s Italian. Try the veal.


Atwater Village Newbie

January 27th, 2009 at 11:50 am

An agency is about its people? Really? Then why wouldn’t Ketchum support its “person” on this Twitter post:

Comment Form