Agencies, like any business that make things and/or produces intellectual property, are protective of their turf. It’s natural to adopt a defensive posture, but is it healthy?
Agencies will only survive and thrive if we eagerly — not reluctantly — work with others, both internally and externally. That has to start with a ‘team’ mindset.
I’m not just talking about internal teams; I’m talking about the extended teams we need to create and enable if we’re really going to win and deliver better for the brands and marketers we serve…To build an agency team that can sustain itself — one that can truly stay ahead of the curve year after year — requires changing your culture so that being a better collaborator becomes muscle memory.
If I hear Wallrapp right, it takes a village to raise a brand.
We need to be looking at disruptors and thinkers from a variety of disciplines — including finance, research, and startups — to fuel the talent pipeline as advertising becomes less about selling and more about relevance, transparency, and engagement.
As advertising becomes less about selling and more about relevance, transparency, and engagement it is critical to exactly know who you are and what you offer. If the core of the firm is creative services, own it, and leave the research, data analysis and so on to the other experts in the room.
Fusion Isn’t Just for Chefs Anymore
Few people in professional services like to admit that they don’t know something. Personally, I find it disarming, thus a tactical advantage. But I also understand that ad people get paid big bucks because they do know something that the client does not. That something can be a skill that the client doesn’t possess, or it can be a perspective that the client doesn’t have.
If only agency owners and operators would routinely ask themselves what skills and perspectives they lack. To do so takes brutal honesty and humility, qualities not known to exist in large doses in corporate America.
Hello, What’s Behind Your Ad-Making Curtain?
Transparency is another buzzword whose meaning flies in the face of reality. Business people don’t want to be open books and expose all their secrets to the world. For many ad execs, being totally open about the “making of the sausage” would make them feel exposed and queasy at best.
Yet when it comes to the making of compelling advertising, a client may want to know how it’s done, specifically how it’s done and by whom. That’s fair. But how many creative teams have ever invited a client to sit in on a concept session? It sounds like an obvious step to help demystify the process and to get their buy-in. It may also seem like an impossibly bad idea if the agency isn’t perfectly at ease with their own creative process.