Meet the agency of the Future

It is amazing how the “agency of the future” articles continue to appear.  Mainstream ad agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi are doing spoofs of the last agency on earth, editorials appear in Campaign and Ad Age, and Forrester talks of the Great Race to the middle or connected agency.

What can we say for sure?

  • Even in defined industries like DM agencies, agencies have never been the same.  The use of data, reliance on creative intuition, ability to really test & learn were all done to differing degrees.  The new integrated agencies and the new digital agencies need to recognize the variations and sell on them.
  • Agency technology will be more and more important.  How long can clients be expected to receive creative via e-mail just before a review (“sorry it is a 5 meg file, might take a minute”)?  How much more media fragmentation before it can’t be planned by a human?  How long before everyone expects their agency to have results the next day, any time of day and in real time?
  • Making great campaigns will continue to get harder. The idea that a planner can write a brief and a couple creatives can go off and come back with a big idea is rapidly appearing incredibly naive.  Where’s the technologist?  Where is the strategist with social insights from that afternoons search volumes and forum comments?  Where is the account guy who acts more like an industry consultant than a relationship manager? A media person that knows market prices and volumes to get the message out?

Will clients need agencies?  Yes.  But not for the old reason that they can’t hire and manage creative people but for the new reason that they can’t hire and co-ordinate creatives, technologists and strategists.  Much less build and maintain the tools they need to do their job correctly.

Meet the agency of the future

March 04, 2010

Article Highlights:

  • The current agency structure hasn’t evolved at pace with media
    innovations
  • The interactive agency model disincentivizes greatness and
    fails to penalize mediocrity
  • Think about how your property can serve as a conduit for deeper
    interactions between brands and consumers
  • If marketers want to radically impact change in the marketing
    ecosystem, it starts with how you allocate dollars

Sure, agencies can look at all the
technology changes, media shifts, industry turmoil, and business
challenges they are up against and feel nothing but stress and pressure
to meet the needs of the dynamic audience. But that’s not how Bryan
Weiner, CEO of 360i, chooses to view the opportunities presented to
agencies during what he refers to as the golden age of the agency.

“It’s time to leave the pessimism behind. This represents an
unprecedented opportunity for agencies to become indispensable marketing
partners,” said Weiner in his Agency of the Future address at last
week’s IAB Ecosystem conference in Carlsbad, Calif.

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