Why the Creative Digital Consultancy Is the Ad Agency of the Future

By Andy Main

Published on Adweek.com

When Deloitte acquired the award-winning creative agency Heat earlier this year, it startled many people in the business community. Heat’s cutting-edge work and its belief in “the power of surprise” seemed at odds with Deloitte’s corporate image. What could a management consulting firm known more for strategic work with CEOs, CFOs and CIOs want with a small San Francisco ad shop?

Take a look beneath the surface and our marriage with Heat makes perfect sense. It’s an acknowledgement of the expanding influence of the CMO and the growing sense that overall customer experience is the differentiator that can make or break brand success. On the one hand, marketers need to drive tangible, data-driven results—something consultancies like Deloitte know a thing or two about. On the other, big, inventive ideas are more necessary than ever for brands in search of the consumer’s increasingly selective attention.

Welcome to the creative digital consultancy.

With our powers combined, Deloitte Digital can offer clients the creative power that won Heat eight Cannes Lions in 2015, as well as the deep industry knowledge that we have long been known for. Together, we’re building the advertising agency of the future: A one-stop shop that provides companies with all the support they need to deliver relevant, exciting experiences across all consumer touchpoints. We believe that this creative digital consultancy model is poised to take over the advertising world.

Today’s marketplace is all about disruption. Business models are turned on their heads. Innovation and transformation drive constant change. Connected experiences rule the day. Companies need a streamlined, end-to-end solution to push creative thinking to the forefront. It doesn’t make sense for the C-suite to get business strategy advice from one firm and creative input from another—especially if the creative agency doesn’t understand how the company’s business works or how industry trends are impacting its bottom line.

By bringing agency services and strategy together, creative digital consultancies help companies speak to customers with a unified voice—every creative project ultimately ties back to our clients’ overarching business goals. For example, when we worked with the shoe company Toms to create a new ecommerce platform, we didn’t just design an attractive website. We built a platform that would allow the company to be agile and responsive, leveraging Deloitte’s experience in supply-chain logistics to help the company grow internationally. When a solution design is cohesive from operations through technology and come through on the front end, the results are unparalleled.

Just as our consulting experience improves the quality of work that’s typically associated with creative agencies, our consulting work benefits from the ingenuity provided by Heat and the other creative shops we’ve acquired. They help us inject creativity into everything we do, from designing a new customer loyalty program to reimagining the in-store experience at our client’s brick-and-mortar locations.

The advertising industry is changing faster than ever, with new social platforms and communications technologies hitting the market each month. In order to keep up, brands need creative partners with the business expertise to help them develop new strategies at a moment’s notice. By working with a creative digital consultancy, firms can arm themselves with the problem-solving skills necessary to tackle new challenges as they emerge. There’s no telling what the future holds, which is why clients need to be prepared for whatever comes next.

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