Since the arrival of the great disruptor, my dear friend the Internet, agencies have adopted living in a constant state of passive fear.
Many of these agencies prefer to live in that passive state rather than doing something about it.
It’s just weird. It keeps feeding that addiction to anxiety agencies seem to have.
Anyway, who is the enemy? The complacent attitude, the lack of hiring of people of different skills other than art director, copywriter, planning, or account executives? The fact that any person not fitting these skills are relegated to a dark corner of the agency? The fact that creatives are not encouraged to be makers and are instead only asked to think ideas that will end up being made by a third party? The fact that big tech and consulting groups are taking away our business?
Probably all of the above. But, to me who we should fear are companies that are known as production companies. I am thinking about the Media Monks, Unit9, or The Mill of the world. These companies have an amazing advantage over us, traditional agencies.
- They have digital in their DNA.
- They have welcome skill diversity.
- They are natural makers and are experts at building experiences.
I decided to write this post after reading a great article by Ben Jones in Think With Google. I was especially surprised by this chart.
When reading this chart I understood that production companies have us by the balls, they could and will at one point remove us from the equation.
So, what should we do? I believe that creatives need to go beyond the use of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Account executives need to deeply understand all available touchpoints. Planners should immerse themselves in digital pop culture. Media should be brought back and not seen as an external business model. And, producers and project managers should be treated as a vital cast within the agency.