With consultancies talking about owning the experience end-to-end, what is the response from agencies? Strategists have to be at the forefront of the answer, argues R/GA’s Yosuke Suzuki.

We have seen and read many reports about the rise of the consultancies, the wave of big data and small data, and how the revolution of technology is changing our lives. Within that environment, what does the future of strategy look like, and what is the role of a strategist?

I believe the role of a strategist has become more critical than ever before, as strategy needs to be at the core to help brands grow their business in a connected age.

As consumers are connected to information, connected to culture, and connected to each other in ever-changing ways, it’s harder for brands to build meaningful relationships with them.

Strategy helps build a bridge by facilitating the stories that connect brands with consumers through a shared a vision or belief, and envisioning systems that allow them to live that vision.

But we can only deliver such experiences if we acknowledge human truths.

1. We are social by nature

We like to be recognized and to matter, we like to voice opinions. In this experience era, that means we need to create experiences that not only provide a point of view from the brand but create a mechanism that allows people to easily join in the conversation. To do so, strategist’s role will be to design a framework and make the creative work harder. We need to be the facilitator to build the experience that is human-centric.

2. We like to be entertained, thrilled, and amazed.

We need to connect data with creative, and to this point we need to be more creative in programmatic. While highly targeted, currently we are using it to deliver calls to action at best. In order to create a meaningful experience, we need to engage in a deeper one-to-one conversation, tailor the content, and build relevance and resonance.

3. We like to collaborate, share a vision and follow

Technology has opened up new doorways that gets us to a solution quicker, and potentially gives us the power to showcase the solution in a fancy intriguing way. But while it is tempting for brands and agencies to leverage new technologies to standout, our role is to help brands create something that has real purpose or meaning, and helps them to build sustainable business for brands. We as strategists need to keep the worst impulses in check and ensure technology is not used as a shortcut to an execution, but rather is used to maximize the strategic assets the client.

Strategy used to be about pointing to a certain direction and preparing the ground for innovation. But in an experience era, the role of strategy is increasingly growing to be more than just a start, but rather a guide for the process end to end.

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