During the Mad Men era of advertising in the 60s, an agency wouldn’t work on an account that didn’t have several million dollars in mass media spending power.
Then in the 90s, an agency wouldn’t work with a client that didn’t have huge budgets to build out an integrated marketing plan that included many expensive components, perhaps an annual report, image brochure, corporate video, and a website with static info that got updated once or twice a year.
Flash forward to 2013 where advertising agencies have divided into niche boutiques to deliver creative to specific industries like nonprofits, associations, environmental focused organizations, municipalities, school districts, or entrepreneurs wishing to launch a national direct mail campaign or international social media campaign.
Swings and changes in agency formation, focus, specialty and preferred client size or niche have been driven by four factors.
- No agency can serve everyone, because no agency can be an expert in all channels and all industries.
- Clients want to work with experts.
- Clients want to work with partners not slick “ad men”.
- Clients need quantifiable measurements every hour of every day, not award-winning creative.
If you’re on the agency side, how has your agency evolved? If you’re on the client side how have your needs changed and are you getting the right partnership you need to succeed in today’s collaborative environment?
SOURCE: Alexander “Al” DiGuido is an innovator in the direct response industry and in e-mail marketing methods. As of December, 2011, he is the former CEO of direct marketing company Zeta Interactive.
Here is what the future of marketing, direct mail, PR, and advertising will look like by 2015, according to Al DiGuido in Ad Age, Feb. 23, 2010.
- Agencies Shrink and Coin Futuristic Titles
The smaller production fees of digital along with thinner margins are already driving the size of agencies down with the best and brightest not exceeding 100 employees.
New top tier job titles such as “chief choreographer” or “convergence experts” could replace creative directors and programmers, according to DiGuido.
- Analytic Reports Replace Image Award Trophies
Soon results and ROI will be the only measures of success that matter, putting Plexiglas® trophy companies in search of new business beyond ad agencies.
Data will dominate all agency activity and analysis will drive strategy, not vice versa.
- Technology Will Be Owned Not Leased
Further into the digital age, it will be necessary to own proprietary technology instead of partnering with third-party vendors, which dilutes margins.
- Good Agencies Will Package Content and Make it Go Viral
Since content is king and the client must be a thought leader, the best agencies will help clients create content, market that content, then measure and even monetize it.
- Agencies Will Form Relationships with Bloggers and Other Non Traditional Media Sources
Agencies of the future will help clients nail their target audience and omit the waste of a spot on a network or in the paper by introducing them to blogger sponsorships or guest column opportunities, according to David Siteman Garland author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper, Non-Boring, Fluff-free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business.
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