October 27, 2017 / BY Jeremy Blum

Why Australia’s Best Brands are Flocking to Independent Agencies in Droves CATEGORIES: RETAIL STRATEGY

Brands are Flocking to Independent Agencies

Brands are no longer putting up with the status quo.

In a landscape run by network agency holding companies and large consultancies, brands are turning to independent agencies to provide them measurable impact and strategic vision geared for the future.

Here are 5 reasons you should make the switch to an agency that really cares about you.

Valuable Relationships

By and large, independent agencies are far more transparent about their people and process. This ensures clients completely understand what they’re getting for their investment, as well as allowing them to contribute more freely.

Further, if there’s a problem, clients have direct access to the agency directors and a personal relationship with the team. This helps both parties understand each other’s businesses and ensure they are focused on achieving shared business goals.

Compare this to network agencies. To some extent, they are almost defined by their structure. With Head Office overseas and the directors an unknown board held accountable by their shareholders, necessary executive contact is limited and clients are not getting the value they could from their agency relationship.

Commitment to Client and Best Performance

Driven primarily by profits over performance, network agencies are comprised of countless companies and stakeholders, all with competing interests. These influences can be particularly unhelpful to your campaign or project.

For example, there may be certain topics which are ‘off limits’ if a stakeholder does not feel their interests are being represented how they’d like.

Conversely, independent agencies are driven by their own agenda and commitment to the client. This means teams are given the freedom to explore the entire spectrum of possibilities to find the very best solution to the client’s business problem.

Freedom for Creativity

Independent agencies can’t afford to play it safe. If they do, they’ll fade into the background and go the way of the dodo. Being a small company in a crowded market, adaptation and reinvention is a necessity for survival.

That means leading the market in strategy, process, and technology, in order to deliver work in unprecedented ways for clients.

It all comes down to a way of thinking. With limited resources, creativity is king. Independent agencies have to work harder for results. This benefits brands because the ideas their agency presents are sharper and focused on real, measurable return.

The Right Talent

Any company is only as strong as its team. For agencies, this means providing value to brands they can’t achieve themselves. This comes down to talent.

Certain types of people are attracted to work at particular agencies. We all know the global network agencies that led the market back when traditional advertising was the only space to play in.

Back then, they forged their reputations by being innovative when advertising was new, but that market is unrecognisable in today’s landscape. Without a clear vision for the future, even the best ideas cannot succeed, and talent becomes swallowed up by overbearing structure and traditional ways of thinking.

Those attracted to independent agencies value unrestricted freedom above all else. They are given the environment and tools to innovate, and their work reflects that.

Impact Through Agility

In a market moving faster than ever before, brands are struggling to keep up. They rely on their agencies for vision and strategic direction. But when so many agencies are falling behind due to their outmoded skills and specialisation (TV commercial production is still the primary focus of many of the largest agencies), how can brands trust their guidance?

Truth is, they can’t.

Brands don’t need an agency with a long history or a massive network, they need a partner who understands where their business is now and knows how to lead them into the future.

Brands need an agile agency; one driven by a commitment to client success, with a clear methodology for the future, and unhindered by extraneous corporate ties. Find an agency that ticks these boxes, and your brand’s in safe hands.

Chances are, it’s also an independent agency.



Jeremy Blum
Jeremy Blum is a specialist in retail strategy and innovation in the commerce space. With a focus on Brand Commerce, Marketing Automation and emerging technologies, he is a Digital Campaign Strategist at eWave. Follow his work here or connect with him on LinkedIn.

October 27, 2017 / BY Jeremy Blum