Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Types of Agencies

There seems to be a trend in the types of agencies that we have around here.

There are those who are perfectly content to do business the way that they’ve always done it. It’s a proven formula, and has always worked in the past, so why change now? It seems that agencies in this mind-set are those who work primarily with local or regional clients, and aren’t willing to take a lot of risks.

There are the agencies that focus more on the larger clients, and as such don’t give the appearance of having much of a presence at the local level. They crank out their work as a satellite office for whatever larger entity they’re a part of, and leave it at that.

There are also those who are willing to take a few risks with/for their clients and try new approaches, different tactics, etc. These are the types of agencies that are getting a lot of attention in the larger “agency world as a whole” press, and the ones that everyone seems to be fawning over.

Then there are the shops that are the shops that seem to be dabbling a little in each of the other areas. These are the ones that, while they are most likely profitable at present, probably don’t have any sort of defined business direction, and as such you’ll find different groups within the organization trying to go different directions. These are the ones that will eventually have to “grow up” if you will, and make a decision about what kind of business they want to be.

I’ve got my opinions about where I think a good number of the agencies in Idaho fit into this list, but I’d like to know what those of you reading this think about it. The "target for discussion" is up. Feel free to shoot holes in it.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like your point about:

"...these are the ones that will eventually have to “grow up” if you will, and make a decision about what kind of business they want to be."

Overall, I only see one shop in this town that knows what it is: Wirestone. They had the guts to target by segment. Noone else does that. Most are just chasing business anywhere they can find it. Yes, Drake has a certain type of client, but the fact is they are taking on business purely for $$$ to fund their growth.

As an industry, we do a TERRIBLE job of positioning and defining ourselves (exactly what we preach to our clients) for fear of losing biz.

Brian said...

"As an industry, we do a TERRIBLE job of positioning and defining ourselves (exactly what we preach to our clients) for fear of losing biz."

It really is frightening just how true that is. Agencies really are their own worst client, and nobody within a given shop wants to accept that fact.

I would love to be a fly on the wall when a client, or potential client, asks the agency what they've done to position themselves in the marketplace, after said agency has finished preaching that same thing to the client...but then again I have an odd sense of humor sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Adding to this discussion ... it's ironic to watch ad agencies talk about the tactics they use (specifically the traditional ones) for their clients when they don't even believe in taking their own medicine.

When's the last time you saw a billboard, tv spot, or radio blip from an ad agency?

It's almost as if they don't believe in the ROI of those mediums? But ... why would they still choose to spend there clients money that way? Hmmm ...

There is one company I can think of out there that is always networking, educating, and sponsoring events they support. Pretty much anything that their target would find credible. And I believe they tell their clients to do the same thing based on their positioning and target market.

Seems a little more focused for both the firm and their clients.