Where has all the creativity gone?
Much has been said about the continued trend of agencies being acquired by consultancy giants.
Some marketers are concerned that this will result in flat ideas from an agency that now answers to a largely-faceless holding company.
It’s easy to say that this is simply the future of the agency world – consultancies will continue to acquire shops, and each such purchase will move the market further away from the creative that has defined the industry up to this point.
As a marketer, you have too much on your plate to begin worrying about the limits of your agency’s creative license.
So why the rumblings of a collective agency brain drain? It’s true that the primary objective of agencies (bold creative) seems to conflict with that of holding companies (meeting KPI benchmarks), but these goals have been slowly drifting closer to one another for some time now.
Consultancies have been compelled to give agencies more independence in their day-to-day creative process. And agencies are increasingly called upon to provide actionable metrics—88% of marketers consider data/analytics capabilities to be an important quality in their agency, according to our New Year Outlook survey.
If you’re not demanding some level of demonstrable ROI from your marketing partner, you risk being left behind.
By the same token, expect to see some degree of planning around campaign measurement and data-driven objectives when conducting your next search; this is a positive sign of an agency’s long-term perspective, not a red flag that they’re too “buttoned up” to be creative.
And of course, bear in mind these changes are largely contained to larger agencies; small- to mid-size agencies have shown that good ideas will always find a place to thrive, and that creative, original work still isn’t hard to find—as long as you know where to look.
The truth is that most changes that do come as a result of the new consultancy positioning will be measured in inches, not miles – not to mention the fact that these adjustments will take years to manifest.
The best agencies will find a way to thrive; it’s up to you to find them.
And if you’re still worried about a tamping down of creative, original ideas, we’re happy to get you in the room with small- to medium- sized agencies that regularly drive innovation on behalf of their clients, and will continue to do so far, far down the road.