Ever since the financial crisis began ten years ago, companies have concentrated on cutting costs and working more efficiently to boost their profitability. This has worked well for many, boosting their bottom lines, but has come at the cost of slower top-line growth. After a decade of cost-cutting, the easy savings have already been made. We believe that companies can no longer simply cut their way to higher profits; they need to focus on driving top-line growth, while maintaining firm control of their efficiency. That means being more ambitious, taking more risks, and investing in brand growth.

New technology has created new opportunities for brands to engage with consumers – and vice versa. Consumers expect to be able to discuss, research and buy products and services at any time, and in any place; their relationship with brands extends way beyond paid advertising. This means that share of experience, not share of voice, is the new currency of brand growth, driven by communications. Agencies that seek to deliver profitable growth for their clients must extend their focus into delivering content, optimising the user experience, creating customer value and developing advocacy programmes, alongside their traditional areas of strength.

We believe that clients looking to drive brand growth need to focus on three key areas.

The first is to reconsider the fundamentals of their businesses and the markets they operate in, assessing how to adapt to new technology and new consumer behaviour. They should work more closely with their agencies in a consultative manner to transform their businesses in the long term.

The second is to focus on the full consumer journey, to ensure that they communicate with consumers wherever and whenever it is most effective. Treat consumers as individuals, not representatives of broad demographic groups, and consider their whole experience with brands, not just their exposure to paid advertising.

The third is to use technology to reduce the cost of communication, for example by using machine learning to automate and optimise programmatic buying.

We have created a new approach to working with clients that focuses on these critical areas, and this is the central element of today’s thorough relaunch of Zenith’s brand. We blend data, technology and brilliant specialists to unleash creativity and drive profitable brand growth.

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