Divisiveness Is For Politics, In Business We’re Better Than That

Avi Dan, a marketing consultant who specializes in client-agency relationships, reports that clients are unhappy with their agency partners vendors.

Only 41% have a positive view of the quality of agency people, and just 38% are satisfied of the way agencies manage integration. Agencies are retreating from a multidimensional relationships with clients to a more limited relationship as creative vendor. As clients are lowering the bar of their expectations, client/agency relationships are becoming transactional rather than partnership based.

Clients are disappointed with agencies’ ability to integrate interactive and traditional advertising. The vast majority of clients feel that agencies are struggling to change their business model and, so far, are playing catch-up with interactive agencies. Clients simply do not see traditional agencies as adjusting well in an era of rapid technological changes.

Of course, this isn’t news to anyone in the agency business, or in client-side marketing. Rather, it’s a reconfirmation of what we already know–that it’s terribly difficult to stand out in a sea of sameness, and even more difficult to connect with prospects who don’t care about how cold your beer is, or whatever diversion it is you’re selling them today.

And for all the talk about agencies not being ready to adapt to the times, I wonder how many clients are prepared to live by this equation: EC=MC. When every company is a media company, every company needs to develop an editorial vision for the brand, an editorial calendar and a team that can execute.

My point is there are plenty of shortcomings to go around, and the answer is working together to overcome them, not whining to some survey taker.



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.