For those that haven’t yet heard, the agency world saw a huge acquisition earlier this week, as Accenture purchased creative firm Droga5.
What are the implications of the $200+ million move, and how does it change the landscape for marketers looking to make the most of their agency relationship?
While the news likely doesn’t directly impact your agency, it serves as a bellwether for what to expect as change continues to make its way through the market.
It also serves as an encouraging reminder of the value of creativity in a space that had increasingly become just another line item in the eyes of procurement.
The partnership represents the intersection of creative work and digital business transformation that marketing has become. Accenture Interactive has an abundance of resources, but the move to bring on Droga5 shows that creativity remains the crucial “X-factor” in moving the needle.
Looking at the move through the lens of your own agency relationship, your partner should be providing you with an infusion of creativity – while an agency should of course be able to demonstrate the impact of your investment, the ultimate goal of an outside shop is to provide the energy and creative thinking that sets your brand apart from the competition.
Accenture isn’t the only holding company looking to tap into outside creativity: the Droga5 acquisition runs parallel to a move from Diageo to review its advertising lineup.
A review that, according to The Drum, seeks to bring more independent agencies into the fold and serves as another indicator that “In the face of transformation and upheaval within the big global holding companies, brands are increasingly looking to independents to deliver more courageous creative.”
Right or wrong, there’s a perception in the agency world that consultancies are the stuffy, buttoned-up type, while creative shops tend to be more bold and free-spirited; in light of the latest moves, it appears that there’s room for both in an effective marketing agency, and that a happy medium may be what you need to deliver both concrete results and fresh ideas.
So at the end of the day, what are you, the marketer, to take away from the Accenture-Droga5 move?
The new age of marketing isn’t only about KPI measurement, and while a focus on data analytics and measurement has taken on an increasingly prominent role – our New Year Outlook survey shows 88% of marketers seeing it as important for an agency to provide — there’s no substitute for creative thinking, fresh perspective, and a healthy dose of “courageous creative.”