Agents of growth and uncovering the messy middle.

Space & Time are delighted to have been finalists at the annual Google Premier Partner Awards 2019 (EMEA) in the Search Excellence category. Since its inauguration in 2016, this awards programme has brought together the top 5% of online advertisers throughout emerging markets of Europe and Asia, to celebrate the fantastic work that has taken place over the past year.

More than just an evening of patting oneself on the back, this year no holds were barred with Google delivering outstanding end-to-end customer service. The event started with an evening of agency and supplier networking at Google’s offices in Dublin on Monday 30th September, followed by a full day’s immersive content with thought pieces around industry trends for 2020, delivered by some of the industry’s brightest minds, followed by the awards themselves and ensuing afterparty.

Crucially, by being invited to these awards, we have been given insight into what the online advertising landscape may start to look like in the coming months and we’ve listed below some takeaways that will be key to overcoming the challenges that lie ahead in 2020.

The messy middle

We all know about the traditional marketing funnel (didn’t that actually die in 2013…?) but in essence, with today’s fractured, long-tail paths to purchase it is becoming much harder for advertisers to strike the appropriate balance of brand building and performance. Enter the ‘messy middle’. We were encouraged to identify and understand user behaviour to uncover new opportunities. In a simple test, we saw that consumers’ repeated exposure to just the brand leads to an increase in positive user experience. There are certain triggers that play a significant role in how media is consumed, so our challenge is to identify how pertinent those triggers are among our clients’ target audiences and work with creative agencies to find a harmonious balance between emotional response and logical rationale.

Make goals and take risks

How often do we set targets, in terms of growth, revenue, clients, satisfaction – most likely all the time. But how ambitious are we? Are we willing to change how we go about our day-to-day and take risks to uncover new opportunities? One industry figure spoke about how change affected their business for the better, turning a reactive agency into a proactive one. “Without action, there is nothing” – they made a good point.

Automation is your Friend

Do not be scared of automation – seriously! This technology is not designed to replace us, and instead, it will just change how our working landscape looks and potentially what our job description entails. Agencies will move from carrying out more manual tasks to being client partners, or consultants for want of another phrase, understanding more and more about their clients’ operations and finding solutions to overcome those challenges. At the core of automation is the ability to help our clients profitably grow their businesses; to invest our time, our resources and insight into helping clients achieve their goals.

Transformation in action

Coming soon to a Google account near you – a one-stop shop for all your Google Ads learning requirements. A famous sales maxim states “always be closing”: in regard to new business, just change “closing” for “learning”. This new feature will allow our specialists to create learning paths, tailored to the journey they want to go on. By raising the floor in our knowledge base as an agency even further, we can raise the ceiling and get the most out of Google’s suite of products, get better results for our customers and drive agency growth. As agents of growth we love working with tech advancements from Google and building our extensive experience in Search.

The agency’s dynamic, open-to-change, growth-focussed mindset continually raises the bar of our corporate skillset. This is how we futureproof ourselves and how we ensure we remain a pioneering media buying and planning agency that provides exceptional results for our clients and drives change within the sector.

Oh, and I’m sure you’re dying to find out if we won…well this year we’re proud finalists and we’ll be back next year for another shot at winning.

Dominic Hart, Senior PPC Specialist.