Consultancies Arrival Disrupts Agencies

Photo credit: Barry Hillier

Fiat Chrysler’s appointment of Accenture Interactive as the “experience agency of record” for Maserati marks the second example of consultancies winning a global marketing assignment, following Deloitte Digital’s win of John Hancock/Manulife last summer. Both are seismic events in the marketing world as these assignments traditionally reside with agencies and holding companies.

The media’s first instinct is to fret about the future viability of agencies. Doing so ignores two realities. First, creative agencies are behind both wins. While Accenture Interactive and Deloitte Digital are credited in the headlines, their respective creative agencies, Heat and Karmarama, are central to winning the assignments. Second, Accenture Interactive and Deloitte Digital leveraged established relationships with Fiat Chrysler and Manulife to secure the assignments. These wins illustrate consultancies’ ability to leverage senior level relationships and influence marketing decisions.

Consultancies Influence Disrupts Marketers

Marketers have as much at stake as traditional agencies when it comes to consultancies. Maserati and John Hancock marketers now work with the new disruptors in the agency landscape. They combine strategy, process, implementation and creativity into a potent offering for marketing experiences that serve digital transformation. Their engagements start at the c-suite and fan out across the different lines of business. Marketers in large enterprises with an existing consulting presence should be asking themselves, “How will the infiltration of consultancies into marketing decisions impact my priorities, budgets, resources and role?”

The answer lies in how marketers choose to manage their agency partners, whether they include a consultancy or not. Marketers that emphasize expertise when choosing agency partners, empower their agencies to take holistic approach to marketing, and evaluate their agency partners with tangible business outcomes will find themselves leading, rather than being led.

To better understand this issue, read my latest report, Consultancies Change The Game For Agencies and Marketers.