Independent agencies are on the rise.

The future favors independents over agencies tied to big networks.

While there was a day, in pre-pandemic times, when size seemed to matter.

Not going with a larger, networked firm seemed to mean that you didn’t have the best talent supporting your business.

Working with networked agencies seemed to mean better access to human and technology resources.

It seemed to mean better access to different areas of expertise across a network’s roster of firms.

It seemed to mean greater cost/value given the economies of scale the agency could bring to the relationship.

As a recent AdAge article points out, while this might have been the case then, it is no longer the case now.  The future favors independents.

As technology platforms have become more accessible to all agencies, as more agencies are tapping into talent across the nation and not just in their local market, the advantages are quickly going away.

Independent agencies (both small and large) always had an advantage via their nimbleness and their cost advantages driven by lower overhead to manage.  As the market has become more complex and technology and marketing changes are occurring at a more rapid pace, the need for more nimble and agile agencies is a necessity.

Larger, networked agencies can’t move quickly.  Their priorities are different and their margin requirements are greater.

Over the years we’ve been running our Agency Search business, we’ve seen more large networked agencies going after smaller prizes…because they need to to keep staffing at fuller capacity.  And we all know what happens when a big networked agency brings a smaller marketing client into their portfolio.

A small fish in a very large pond makes for a short-term love affair.

It’s one of the reasons marketers come to us looking for a new firm.

So before you get taken in by the show that networked firms might bring to a competitive review, think about the real needs of your business and ask independent firms to share examples of their work and how they’ve helped other marketers like you to better move their business forward.

If you need help finding a new agency, we can help at no cost to you.

Give us a call (513-293-6785) or drop us a line (