This is what sucks about agency work … but at the same time, its also what attracts many to agencies in the first place. Look at the image below for 10 seconds and then read on…
So let me explain…
- The tractor driver is the agency worker.
- The tractor is the agency and its network.
- The tree is the client.
- The soil is everything else but primarily the environment or sector the clients operates in.
As a digital agency, we try to take our clients out of their old ways and out of dying business models and through the digital transformation for their own good and business survival, while they slap us in the face and make our lives miserable.
We take them out of soil that is drying up, becoming toxic and unfertile. And we place them in more fertile soil where they can survive and thrive once again for the next 100 years or more. If we fail, there is a good change they will eventually die as their markets and business is stolen away by digital-first companies that steel the consumer relationships from them within the new and every emerging digital channels.
Its hard work to get clients to change. Its hard work to get people to change old habits. Especially if they still work … for now. But are not sustainable and slowly dying or being disrupted.
Change is our only constant and it is advancing at an ever increasing pace as technology grows exponentially. So the transformation never really stops as businesses and people must continue adapting to their changing environment at an ever increasing pace. Humans are use to linear growth and have a tough time adjusting to the technological revolution around them that is advancing exponentially. Digital and technology is in a constant state of becoming. That is the nature of this infection and we must adapt in order to survive.
I always use the slide below to describe what we really do for our clients at the highest level. We work to keep them in business through this digital era where digital transformation is required in almost all sectors in order to survive and thrive as the consumer and people in general shift to become more and more reliant and dependent of technology and the Internet.
The old is where you die as a business if you stay here too long. The new is where you survive and thrive as a business. The Goal is to always be in the white and stay out of the black. But the sloping line also depicts the constant state of change in a technology landscape that is constantly changing and becoming. It never ends. Once you transform through one challenge you must then tackle the next one.
So as an agency we are constantly trying to help our clients not only to survive but thrive in an evolving digital landscape. Since change is hard and people resist change it makes it very tough. Clients make our lives miserable every step of the way.
But not every person within a client business makes it hard. Some are believers and some resist. The trick is to identify and use people with both influence and/or authority to stimulate positive change. But also to identify the up and coming influencers and future talent within the company and building relationships with them so they are ready when the time comes.
Changing people is close to impossible. You need to educated them on why they need to change and they need to learn, understand and believe for themselves why this change is required. This takes time and its very hard work. And to do this agency consultants need a very strong relationship with the client. They must own the clients trust and respect before this digital transformation can be achieved.