Why management consultants are becoming the new ad agencies

management consultants

By Mark Schaefer

While researching my new book, I reached out to dozens of marketing industry experts to learn their views of how our world was changing, and how we needed to cope.

One of my go-to intellects over the years is Mitch Joel and he gave me an answer that caught me by surprise: “I’m not sure companies know who to call any more. The big management consultants like Deloitte are encroaching on the advertising business.”

It was timely then for me to see this article in The Wall Street Journal: “Tech Consultants are the New Mad Men.”

The article states that companies used to rely on ads to promote brands. Now they have more direct ways to engage with customers. Luxury groups like Gucci have rapidly shifted their focus from Vogue to Instagram, while consumer giants like Unilever , which bought subscription-based razor merchant Dollar Shave Club, are investing heavily in e-commerce.

This accelerating shift is a headache for the traditional pillars of the ad industry: agency holding companies like WPP and Omnicom . Not only is it hard to manage culturally—it is easier to get would-be Mad Men motivated by a new Super Bowl ad than a customer relationship management project —but it has also brought them face to face with deep-pocketed new competitors, notably consultancies Accenture and Deloitte.

These new consulting relationships are …

1) Designing experiences, not ads

2) Leveraging deep personal connections at the senior level of companies

3) Focusing on tech disruption in marketing instead of re-hashing old ad forms

It’s a fascinating trend that Tom Webster and I explore in the latest episode of The Marketing Companion podcast.

We also take a look at a seriously disturbing tech trends — altered reality and facial recognition — and forecast how this might impact our businesses. Microsoft’s president says we need to regulate facial recognition before “the year 2024 looks like 1984.”

And, on a happier note, Tom explains the importance of “the show” in content creation today and we crack each other up with the new Marketing Companion slogan.

You do not want to miss this!


Click on this link to listen to Episode 140

Other ways to enjoy our podcast

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

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SoloSegment’s Site Search Inspector illuminates a huge blind spot for marketing teams and helps them unlock the revenue trapped there. If you’re like 85% of companies, you have no idea what’s going on in your site’s search engine. You either don’t have measurements or you ignore what you have. Up to 30% of your visitors search and they could be your best customers. Site Search Inspector targets the site search customer experience with a set of proprietary measures designed to improve success. They’re so convinced you’re going to improve your success rates, they’ve tripled the free trial period to 45-days and they’re offering 10% off an annual subscription. You can find this special offer on solosegment.com/companion

Illustration courtesy Unsplash.com

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