Apr 17 2012
Basis Team

How Agencies Can Take Back their Strategy


The Makegood recently wrote a very candid article describing how agencies are unfortunately positioned as “yes, men” to their clients. Agencies today are becoming victims of the ever-changing landscape, which is causing them to be more reactive vs. strategic and proactive.

This is mainly due to the lack of time, specialization and resources needed to help provide the creativity and strategy that is incredibly vital for long-term success.

It’s the well-thought out approaches looking to the future that deliver the big wins, not the pseudo short-term quick fixes. More specifically, it’s the strategy and challenging discussions that move a client up to the top. There needs to be intelligent dialogue that most likely involves a bit of back and forth and even a bit of client push back, a willingness to take risks, and a keen eye on what’s working and what’s not. Digital agencies need to take their strategy back and become empowered consultants again, not jaded order takers.

So how do agencies become strategic doers again? The article above is spot on with its recommendation: “Outsource everything but the brains. Keep it lean. Brands are playing this game of taking Media in-house, then offloading back to an agency, and then taking it back again. Don’t play that game – just give it to them.  Agencies value should not be in the tasks, it should be in the insights and vision that the client cannot see from being drunk off their own Kool-Aid.  There’s a growing trend of startups stealing the raw talent from the agencies. Agencies will not compete against startups if they only offer jobs that can be executed by the half-witted when the smart, youthful talent wants to utilize their brain.”