Agencies: The Clone Wars

Agencies; you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all! Well that’s a common perception, but why is this?

Agency Clones

Agencies face the same challenges; clients want more for less so accounts tend to be piled high and teams under resourced. There’s also the ongoing challenge of finding good people and the threat of clients pulling resource in house, on top of this they still have to make a profit.

This can be a tricky task and getting it wrong can result in reduced resource, lack of account leadership and teams being spread too thinly. A lot of the people we talk to have the following perceptions about agencies.

Agencies work in silos.

I think it’d be fair to say that none of the big agencies have truly nailed integration and channel alignment. It can be difficult when the management of the channel mix is fragmented, with PPC being managed by one agency and SEO by another. Do the planning teams really understand search strategy?

Agencies struggle to add real value.

A lot of AMs feel they spend all their time reporting, preparing client pitches and juggling too many balls; whilst not getting time to do what they were brought on to do – drive performance.

Agencies work people to the bone.

Long hours seem to be part of the territory and many a day I’ve spoken to people as they leave work at 8pm. It doesn’t have to be the case, if you have the right set-up and resource you too could be walking out the door at 5:30.

Agencies all need to add value, make money and attract the best people. It’s how agencies react to this is what makes them different and exciting. Next week Neil will be looking at what a good agency looks like and how to find your own little star in the digital agency universe.