Englishman Ferdinand moved to Hungary with his parents at a young age, not being able to speak the language he focussed on teaching himself programming and digital marketing.
He then continued to work at small agencies and was able to explore the startup industry until he landed a job at Recruitee, a small, Amsterdam based, 12 person recruitment SaaS product.
He was asked by the founders to growth their business from product-market-fit to a multimillion dollar B2B business.
Ferdinand established that ultimately in a saturated market where everyone is selling the same features and benefits branding and telling an effective brand-story is the only way to differentiate and grow.
In order to do this Ferdinand hired and managed a 14-person in-house agency at Recruitee and sourced creative ideas and input from the entire company. When asked why he didn't outsource the creative work to agency he says:
"There are 3 things that companies should own: data, process & culture around your activities."
and most agencies fail or struggle to transfer and embed those 3 things inside their client company organisation and he thinks that the agency of the future should figure out how to embed themselves in the process and tie themselves to the performance of the client so that the long term and the short will be married in a holistic approach. “
Rodger Beekman Chief Experience : PWC
“Het is eigenlijk onmogelijk om alle expertise om een merk te helpen op het hoogste niveau in huis te hebben.”
De vraag mbt het waarborgen van business, waar PwC van oudsher in gespecialiseerd is, is aan het veranderen van puur financieel naar andere menselijke en creatieve vakgebieden. Sinds 3 jaar staat in Amsterdam een van de grootste PWC-experience centers van europa.
Rodger komt zelf uit de marcom wereld, en merkte dat hij over bepaalde strategische onderwerpen niet mocht nadenken terwijl hij dat wel wilde.
Deze business experience en technology afdeling denkt na over behoeftes, diensten en producten van een klant en moet een ervaring opleveren die latente behoeftes ook ontwikkeld bij klanten.
Creatieven voelen deze behoeftes intuïtief aan voordat deze rationeel duidelijk zijn,
en daarom is daar ruimte voor gemaakt binnen PWC echter wil ze heel duidelijk niet in de communicatie markt actief worden.
Vooral de boekhoudkundige verantwoording van keuzes en de resultaat gedrevenheid is het moeilijkste onderdeel voor dit team.
Rodger's grootste inzicht: het is eigenlijk onmogelijk om alle expertise om een merk te helpen op het hoogste niveau in huis te hebben.
Hij vindt daarom dat de bureau's van de toekomst zich als modulaire groepen moeten verenigen en telkens in een nieuwe vorm moeten opschalen naar gelang de opdracht daar om vraagt.
Mark Appel, marketing director of Exact has been responsible for the digital transformation of the entire marketing stack of both main business units of Exact. Growing it internationally from 50.000 licenses to 400.000 subscription users, more then 85% of which are new users.
introducing social media marketing, CRM, display and SEA to the company as early as 2012.
Exact is a very metrics and performance focussed company. Brand identity has never been priority but at the same time a large scale partnership with Max Verstappen was developed to build international brand awareness. This posed to question of how to make this partnership relevant to the brand and how to measure the effect of branding on metrics inside the marketing funnel.
These facts are grounds for a lot of scepticism towards creative and branding agency due to the lack of measurable results.
Mark poses that you can only delegate marketing processes to external agencies when you thoroughly comprehend them internally.
That is why Exact has developed its own in-house agency of 70+ FTE which is mostly focused on performance marketing.
Agencies of the future should offer all the support that a young company needs.
At Foodora, a food delivery service, Rik van Emmerik experienced their growth from day one to their exchange listing. A giant leap with lots of learnings to share. Het had the budgets and balls to cover the whole city in pink for a bit of brand awareness. He now works as a global head of expansion at Felyx. The scale-up that rents green electric scooters that conquer our cities at breakneck speed. At Felyx they create a lot of their marketing materials in-house which for Rik is a pragmatic solution for not being able to find an agency that can serve all their needs. According to him, there should be a switch in mindset at agencies to not only think in short-term trends and short-term success, but operate more as an equal partner willing to achieve successes together. An agency that understands all the elements of a company and perhaps also has the capability to offer all the support that a young company needs. For more insights on why a head expansion of a tech company still has to live out of his suitcase, listen to the full podcast.
Vruchtvlees, not the usual Amsterdam showpony
Vruchtvlees is one of the Netherlands' most successful digital design agencies and awarded as European Agency of the Year.
During their studies, the three of them already started their agency because there was too little attention for digital in class. Founded in the Dutch design tradition and trained by, among others, Professor Dumbar of the renowned agency Studio Dumbar that is now part of Dept, they have brought Dutch Design online. In the crisis, when everything was put in jeopardy, they could manoeuvre silently between the established order. And not as one of the Amsterdam show ponies, as Roman calls it, but as an outsider from The Hague. Typically the mentality of Dutch Design, progressive, down to earth, edgy, outspoken but always with humor.
Why they now consider opening an office in Amsterdam and what their further growth ambitions are is revealed in this podcast.
Independence is the most important asset for the agency of the future
Ward Cuiper is a Creative Strategist. He taught himself social media marketing and subsequently gained experience at renowned advertising, content and media agencies such as Dawn and Mindshare. According to Ward there is a big gap between traditional creative agencies, media agencies and marketing specialists. Traditional agencies want to win prizes with compelling campaigns. A media agency however, would say everyone needs a 13-second video. What a client really needs however, remains unanswered. For Ward, the office of the future is about independence. The only way an agency can give an honest advise that truly satisfies the needs of their clients, is if they remain independent from the creation and the production process. This means a sole focus on strategy and concept development. According to Ward this requires a change in business model, away from billable hours and towards a royalty. A big idea that gives direction to your brand for a few years is just worth a lot of money. That's why Ward is freeing up as much time as possible to develop his own formats and pitches them after they are done.
Influencers are the agencies of the future
In our first Agency of the Future podcast, we sat down with influencer-innovator and founder of The Rong Agency, Max De Vries. Max has a laundry list of experience. He is responsible for making the first branded content series in NL, helped to kickstart Virtue - the agency created by Vice - in the Netherlands, and on top of it all he took the time to sit down with us and talk about the ins and outs of his experiences at agencies like XXS and Woedend.