Transformation of the traditional agency model is happening. Last week in Nashville, top agency executives gathered to discuss where the industry is heading as well as acknowledging challenges within agency culture. Clients have spoken and agencies have taken listened. While Nashville may be known for “hot chicken,” below are some hot topics discussed during Digiday Agency Summit.

Welcoming Brand Ownership
Knowing their consumer best, brands now want to own a large portion of the creative process. For this reason, brands including Verizon are bringing their content creation process in-house. Brands also want to focus in on consumer behaviors. Some brands are even creating their own custom algorithms for agencies to use during programmatic bidding to ensure their desired consumer is targeted.

Increasing Digital Capabilities
In addition to qualitative offerings of PR and advertising, agencies are focusing more on measurement and scale. Recognizing the importance of combining media and data, brands are moving towards the requirement of data-driven strategies from agency partners. For this reason, more agencies are investing in cross-channel platforms that could help them buy, sell, and plan more efficiently.

Setting Client Expectations  
Striking the balance between transparency and efficiency is also top concern for agencies. While it has been agreed that 100% transparency is not ideal, agencies are taking steps to ensure that clients are receiving an ideal amount of transparency. Clients should also be transparent with agency partners regarding the different people that are a part of their team and how best to ensure deliverables.

For 2017 and beyond, agencies are recognizing the importance of creating a partnership with clients. No longer are brands looking for agencies to solely create and control their brand strategy. With this, agencies will win with clients by offering transparency, collaboration, and innovative digital strategies.