How does an agency win so much new business, its hair catches on fire? For decades, the answer has been to win a truckload of trophies at One Show and Cannes. But that answer has worn thin. Today, savvy clients are looking for the creative firepower that’s capable of gathering a crowd and a team of data scientists to help explain and improve the ongoing investment.
Mekanism and its new performance offering dubbed Soul + Science fits the bill. According to Brian Bonilla of Ad Age, the agency spent the beginning of the pandemic building out its performance team of about 12 people who focus on analytics and optimization.
It would be interesting to see Ground Control in use or to hear from clients who find it invaluable. Agencies have always claimed to have proprietary processes that lead them to unique insights. Oftentimes it’s just smoke and mirrors.
How about now? Mekanism is far from alone in packaging up a data analytics practice and making it seem like it’s as important as any other service provided by the agency.
On the Mekanism website it says:
Not everyone loves ads, but everyone loves a great brand. So we build great brands using a unique blend of creativity and performance.
Performance is now equal to creativity? Do we even know what ‘performance is? Is it the optimization of digital campaigns across hundreds of sites? Is it better quantitative reporting on the ad spend?
Whatever performance is, and however it works, the question for clients remains constant, “How do we move people to take an interest in our products and get them to buy more of them now and in the future?” I’m not sure, “a unique blend of creativity and performance” is the answer that clients seek. It sounds more like a belief that creativity needs a strong partner today. That creativity is somehow incomplete without performance and the data that enables it.
In my opinion, this is thin ice for any creative firm to test. In the desire to be both consultant and creative agency, agencies are buttoning up. Time will tell if this trend is productive or long-lasting.