Mary Beth Kemp

Most – vocal – readers agree that ad industry value is heading south: both overall or if one zooms on an individual agency (thanks to hammerandtong for his comparison of WPP’s and aQuantive’s market value). 

The agency view is great context, but at some point, I would still like to have a look at the history of the industry and compare the part of the pie agencies have gotten.  However, my friends at the DataCenter at Ad Age have assured me that would be extremely difficult, given the different ways of counting revenue over the years.  Any ideas welcome.

I do wonder at point things began to go sour (30 years ago, 20… 10?) and if there is an indication of a way out by untangling history…

While retrospection may be helpful, I’ll get back to the (nearer) present. When Pete and I were working on the Connected Agency research late last year, we were quickly convinced that agencies needed new IP to save their skins.  They needed to invest to create new value. 

The intellectual property that we put forward is deep consumer knowledge. In short, this translates for marketers as the promise of better performing marketing activities. That consumer knowledge is the driving center of a Connected Agency.

Off target? Far-fetched?  Or spot on?

What do you think?  Is IP the right pursuit?  And if so, what IP must agencies develop to keep themselves relevant for the next 20 years?