Can One Agency Really Do It All?

I work at what you’d consider an integrated, full-service agency. But in this world of exploding tactics and new media everything, trying to put together a truly comprehensive, multi-media campaign that builds brands, engages consumers and drives sales seems impossible. Or is it?

Theoretically, of course, one agency can do it all, but think about how it actually works. You need a budget or an assignment or an idea to get started, then a kickoff meeting with everyone in the room. Then a brief — a what? A creative brief? An engagement strategy? A list of tactics? Someone has to make those calls. And you’d better hope there are people in the agency, preferably all of them, who know how all the pieces integrate — they all need to understand social, broadcast, and user experience, and SEO. Plus, a PR strategy needs to be in place for seeding and publicizing the work when it’s ready to be launched. Someone has to manage the process, corral the creative elements, get the client’s hundreds of approvals on everything, and make sure it all gets produced correctly. Oh yeah, the agency has to make money on this when it’s done.
I leave it to you to answer how many shops can do all of the above — in some semblance of order, without regular staff and process meltdowns, and with brilliance reflected in the produced work. It’s no wonder so many agency brains are feeling scrambled these days.

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo, which will be on the home page tomorrow.
On a side note, the folks at TZ have asked me to make the titles of my columns more straightforward so folks seeing titles via Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feed, e-mail, or some other media will know instantly whether it’s something they want to read or not. Whereas before, my titles were clever but a little vague. A good suggestion, but a transition nonetheless. So in the new world of column headlines, it’s Straightforwardness 1, Cleversville 0.

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.