Two very interesting things happened this week in the world of marketing agencies.
One dealt with the whole Pepsi/Kendall Jenner thing. Talked about that in the previous post.
The other interesting thing was Marc Pritchard’s speech at the 4A’s Transformation Show in L.A.
In this speech, Pritchard called for greater simplicity.
He called for a reduction in the amount of “crap” agencies are pushing out. In his view, we make too many ads, we develop too much content, overwhelming consumers.
Just like you might get bored with that new product you launched only a year ago, he criticized agencies (and marketers) for getting bored with creative output and suggested that we lose interested much faster than the consumers we are advertising to.
He asks all of us to simplify.
The number of ads we produce, the amount of content we’re pushing out, the way we structure our organizations.
“To help agencies, clients must simplify their own organizations by breaking down silos.”
He also suggested that all of this specialization by agencies is crazy.
He want as far to ask the question: Why are digital agencies still in existence. Interestingly, we asked the same question nearly 5 years ago to the day in a post titled “Will Digital Only Shops Survive“. It has always been our belief that an agency wouldn’t as a digital-only agency because of the need and drive to full integration.
Love Marc’s perspective.
He asks: “It’s astonishing to me that we still have digital agencies,” he said. “Do we have print, radio or out-of-home agencies?”
I remember back in 2011, shortly after starting RSW/AgencySearch, we ran an agency search for Domain Chandon that was caught right where Pritchard says most marketers are.
They had 5 or 6 agencies, each bringing individual specialties to the table. Worked for a while, then it became a 6 headed nightmare. Each agency was trying to steal each other’s business, managing the brand’s equity became tiresome and developing a plan that was truly integrated was a near impossibility.
They had us find them a new “full service” firm…and they have been with that firm ever since.
These sort of things come and go. Today’s movement is consolidation. Tomorrow it will swing the other way because someone like Marc Pritchard will say we’re getting too comfortable and we need to bring new thinking into the mix.
I say both sides are correct.
I believe that a full service approach is the best way to go…but with so many agencies in the market today, bringing a new one on board for special projects ever now and then isn’t a bad thing. They don’t have to replace or agency. They can be there as a reminder to your existing agency that they can’t forget what got them to the table originally.
Smart thinking, hard work, excellent creative.