Clive Armitage, CEO at Agent3
, co-founded Agent3 in January 2013 to help organizations use data, technology and content to build better sales pipelines that are quicker to close, typically through innovative Account Based Marketing (ABM) programs. Prior to starting Agent3, Clive was the CEO of Bite Communications; an international communications agency that he co-founded in 1995 with four others and which grew to more than 300 people in 14 offices by the time he left to start Agent3. During his career, Clive has worked in South Africa and San Francisco and is now based back in London where he lives with his wife and three children.
We use data to understand the need of the buyer and technology to engage the buyer at the right time, via the right format.
MEDIA 7: What inspires you the most about the marketing and communications industry?
CLIVE ARMITAGE: I’ve always loved the ingenuity of marketers; that amazing ability to come up with fresh, creative ideas that help a brand meet its commercial goals. It’s truly energizing to be in an industry where survival means coming up with better and better ways to support a brand in reaching its stakeholders profitably and memorably.
M7: How does Agent3 help marketers keep up with changing shifts in the market and meet their expectations?
CA: We have to act as the eyes and ears of marketing innovation for our clients; they trust us to help them navigate the pace of change in the way that the process of marketing is evolving. Building that trust takes years of hard work and diligence but I think we’re now at a point where, from a scale perspective with around 160 people in 7 locations, we act as a trusted partner for our client base. It also helps that we have an intellectually curious set of employees who span everything from data science to creative writing. Our people work exceptionally hard at delivering innovation created within Agent3 as well as watching where innovation may be happening elsewhere, in order to ensure they can truly advise their clients in the right way.
We have to act as the eyes and ears of marketing innovation for our clients; they trust us to help them navigate the pace of change in the way that the process of marketing is evolving.
M7: How does Agent3 help sales teams understand and present their products in an engaging manner?
CA: Working with our marketing stakeholders (who are often the budget holder too…) we work with sales to align their efforts with marketing programs into key and named accounts. Accordingly, we arm sales teams with key insights into those key accounts through our Insights and Intelligence division. Our positioning specialists, The Craft, then work with sales teams to create compelling value propositions that can differentiate their brand when talking to key accounts. We also provide creative assets for sales teams to utilize at every touch point in the buying process. And lastly, we will provide access to technologies such as our in-house developed social selling application SOsell that will help drive better engagement for sales teams into their key accounts.
M7: Agent3’s product SOsell was awarded the Marketing Excellence Award for Enabling Sales to Accelerate Growth by ITSMA. How has this AI-enabled social selling application helped your clients accelerate their growth?
CA: Over the last 18 months, selling has naturally had to shift from a historically face-to-face biased activity to a predominantly social and digital model. So any brand that has been able to adapt to this shift fastest has been able to grab market share as a result. SOsell works by making social selling easy for sellers; it’s an application that is designed to utilize AI to provide the user with intelligence about when to post content on social channels, what content to post and when. SOsell takes the effort out of social selling and as a result, has been really well received by its users.
If you are not utilizing the power of data, technology and content then you are failing to be a modern marketer.
M7: What are some of the biggest marketing challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic? How does business social media help bridge the gap?
CA: The obvious challenge created by Covid is that physical events, have just not been possible. Given conferences and exhibitions have often been significant activities for marketing to focus on, and coalesce campaigns around, marketers have had to look for alternatives methods to engage customers and prospects. Step forward digital engagement. What has been fascinating to see is how marketing teams and agencies have quickly pivoted to using digital engagement to plug the gap caused by the lack of physical contact. As a result, thoughtful, well-developed content that is delivered across multiple channels to audiences at the point of interest, has become much more sophisticated during the pandemic. And increasingly, it’s hard to imagine that, as the pandemic diminishes in impact, marketing teams will revert back to more traditional forms of engagement; the digital/social genie is well and truly out of the bottle.
M7: According to you, how can organizations build better sales pipelines using data, content and technology in the present times?
CA: Think about your personal experience; if someone targets you for sales and marketing purposes, you’re likely to respond if the approach is timely, personalized and relevant, right? Well, that’s what data, technology and content allow us to do when targeting buyers. We use data to really understand the need of the buyer. We use technology to engage the buyer at the right time, via the right format. And we use compelling content to create an emotive reaction that is likely to drive engagement. Frankly, if you are not utilizing the power of data, technology and content then you are failing to be a modern marketer.
Founded in 2013, Agent3 is the global leader in the field of true end-to-end ABM programs informed by insight and data, and driven by audience focused content. With customers including LinkedIn, Pure Storage, Intel and Sony, Agent3 has offices in London, Woodbridge (UK), Sydney, Sofia, New York and San Francisco. Agent3 helps its customers achieve more, and better, opportunities for greater wallet share, engagement and perception change by combining constant innovation across data, technology and creativity for its proven ABM programs.