Mary Beth Kemp

Both Agencies and clients have asked who and what type of agency will best drive the evolution to a more integrated and ‘connected’ agency.

I recently heard much frustration from one large advertiser who sees his primary agency partner buying – quite largely – into digital, mobile…yet the agency still delivers ad plans to his marketing team which are essentially 100% television-based. A strategic contradiction that hinders his company’s evolution, “don’t they understand that they aren’t helping me move to digital?”

Yes, I’d have to answer.  The contradiction hinders evolution… and keeps margins and operations securely in the more profitable old world, which the agency is better staffed and better paid to deliver. 

Hence the conflict of interest. The challenge to agencies is assuring current operations while building the future. Or, perhaps in some cases, just getting the most out of current operations.

Which leads to the question – what type of agency is best equipped to evolve: an agency within a large group with significant resources – keenly important for building consumer intelligence; or an independent player, with perhaps less to lose?

I have my point of view.  What do you think?