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The rise of hybrid agencies

By Louis Eksteen

The changing communication landscape, driven by technological advances, is now influencing marketing consultancies such as traditional advertising and public relations agencies, as much as the media sector. Marketers are increasingly in direct control of how their communication activities are created. Thus they require a modernised set of services from their marketing partners.

The new business model shaping marketing communication consulting demands a multidisciplinary approach in which brand content and digital are seamlessly integrated into everything the agency does. It calls for skills and deliverables, previous separated in varied disciplines such as media creation and traditional advertising.

Marketing consultancies that can deliver these new communication services are mostly called hybrid agencies.

These new hybrid agencies must deliver consulting services on three key platforms:

Brand content marketing

The most significant trend creating a need for hybrid agencies is the necessity for brand content marketing. Today all brands are content brands, requiring skills usually associated with traditional media creation, as opposed to Mad Men-like top-down advertising.

As brand content demands less hard sell and promotion, but more intellectual storytelling added value, traditional agencies often struggle to deliver continuous content packages in non-campaign formats. This is how a new crop of hybrid agencies can be differentiated from only delivering pre-made commercials, to recruiting real media creation skill for the execution and management of clients’ owned media platforms.

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Musings from Kim, our CEO

Small business rocks!

Homonyms can be tricky. They are spelt and sound the same, but mean very different things. Let’s take the root word “rock”. It can mean cool and fun, but it can also be an object found in nature, something solid or even movement. The adjective “rocky” can mean tough and hard. Talk about a word with a split personality, the yin and yang, black and white and trying to have things both ways!
Being an entrepreneur, starting something brand new and trading the corporate high life for “small business” is akin to having rocks in one’s head, some believe. People say the first year, second year, first five years are going to be tough. The road to success will be rocky, they add. Statistics of how many new businesses fail in their first year are often quoted. And as added cold comfort, if you are retarded enough to venture out on your own in a recessionary economy... These are the very reasons so many don’t even try. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the hardship. Fear of failure.
So why do we risk so much and do it? Simply because small business rocks. I really enjoy nothing more these days than listening to entrepreneurs who have trodden this rocky path regale us with their own stories and advice based on their own experiences. Not one has said it was easy, but none have said they regretted the risks and the journey. Given the choice, they’d do it all again.
Read Kim's musings in full.
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