Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is The Agency Roster Dead?

The concept of rosters, where agencies have responsibility for campaign execution organised by channel is a tried and tested way to divide work and budgets.

However in this connected world where people and campaigns slip seamlessly between channels this model is looking increasingly flawed. How can you think just in a TV, web site or email box anymore?

Ideally hand-offs between client departments, and between agencies would be as seamless as would the notion of collective ownership of the idea, but this rarely happens.

As digital stops being a discipline I think this will be felt keenest by the digital roster agencies, with direct, pr and branding agencies starting to offer digital as part of their service.

So what do we do? Assign agencies by campaign or by task; acquisition, relationship, advocacy, across all channels?

Build a model that has the brains to develop the idea, identify the most appropriate channels and how people move through them, then assign craft specialists to produce?

Stick our heads in the sand until someone brighter than us changes the model?

There is no right answer except to, as we tell our clients, permanently experiment and evolve...



Will said...

Giles, I'd say your first option is what will initially happen, then the second, as technologists/designers begin to permeate the advertising landscape (and yes, it's already begun to happen, but just to a greater degree).

I sincerely hope the third option doesn't happen.

Jim said...

This is about change in people, not models. Skills, attitudes and behaviour is changing.

It's an over-used and inaccurate cliche that ideas come from anywhere. They rarely do, suffering at the hands of the agency filtration system of creative directors and whoever has the most influence on the client.

Digital is breaking that system down, allowing a freer landscape for ideas which clients can see. Digital provides an instantaneous 'Caesar-like' yes or no to a creative idea - measured by traffic, click-throughs, forwards etc. It's easy for the little guy to show his creative medals based on numbers that day, not based on 20 years of Cannes appearances.

What this requires is humility and respect on all sides. Prepare to start living the reality that ideas WILL come from everywhere.

Giles said...

hey jim, i agree about attitude and behaviour change breaking down the models - including current agency roster divisions. i guess wherever it goes we need a system/model to help us and our clients understand and orgnise what we do and our differences.

Chris Grayson said...

jim wrote:
Prepare to start living the reality that ideas WILL come from everywhere.

They may come from anywhere, but guy in the corner office will still claim all the credit.

My bet, big agencies will talk a lot of talk, create a lot of management committees to discuss the talk that's been talked. While others will create new businesses that address the problem. Then the big agencies will buy the startups to acquire their expertise, then they will put a layer of executive management above the company they bought to squeeze out all the people that created the business they bough, then proclaim that they solved the problem.

Sorry Giles, feeling a little cynical about big agencies.

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Duncan said...

Ideas that people want to consume, regardless of discipline, channel or audience. Originality wrapped in business context. Powered by digital accountabity and seeing digital as not a channel, but a world we live in that influences every strategy, execution and relationship.

Sorry to sound like a hard sell, but for examples please just visit Callcott Marketing, come over for tea, or our site will be up soon.

zee said...

Great site. Great words. Much sense.

Maybe/hopefully we will work together one day i know some of your people.. i.e paul o'donnel (olgivy chairman)

I am zee from www.zeeanddee.com

phone search said...

Interesting, I had never heard of this Roster things before - good to know. I will have to further investigate - thanks for your expertise and information :)

Ven @ Money Making Tips said...

Advertising is part of every business and it directly affects the results, growth. Its worth the money to invest in advertising your business. Great Stuff !

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