Agency Shakey Shakey

I remember thinking about five or six years ago how if I went to a digital shop, I’d be pigeon-holed in their creative cul de sac.
According to Ad Age, digital shops are now beating traditional shops for agency-of-record status.

While most clients still seek best-in-class specialists for every discipline, more are showing interest in digital agencies to serve as the lead on integrated communications efforts, consultants said. The uptick is particularly visible among marketers in the retail sector and other product categories where there is opportunity for e-commerce.
What’s more, clients are becoming less and less fixated on the type of agency handling their ad accounts and more on the individual brains behind the marketing campaigns.

In other words, it’s a talent war and the best digital shops have fresher talent, prepared to think differently about the media mix and other topics of interest.

Further into the piece, there’s more to chew on:

Late last year, Forrester completed a study of several interactive agencies. The report’s author, Brian Haven, argued that interactive shops are closer to the consumer, in a better place to mine the rich insights and data available via the web, and in the right place at the right time to capture consumer behavior changes. Because of those things, interactive shops are poised to be the “foundation for all marketing efforts within the next five to 10 years,” he wrote. But, he added, agencies have not yet reached the level of leadership they need.

Shakeups mean opportunity. It’s true in journalism and the stock market and just about anywhere else one looks. If one buys Haven’s prognosis, there’s an incredibly rich opportunity to emerge as a creative leader in the digital space. I’m speaking for myself here, and also for anyone with the interest and background to make the journey.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.