I honestly think that big integrated agencies are coming round again (this obviously has absolutely nothing do with the fact that I work for one).
Client’s budgets and the size of their in-house teams are being squeezed and increasingly they’re asking my lot to become an extension of the marketing team – even to the extent of managing their relationships with other agency suppliers.
As the communications landscape becomes more complex and more fragmented, clients face a choice to:
- either employ upwards of a dozen agencies and manage those relationships, ensuring strategic and creative consistency
- or appoint a lead agency, give them the bulk of the work and have them ‘police’ the rest of the roster
For clients who want to go home before midnight, the second option seems increasingly the way to go.
It means that integrated agencies will really have to ensure that their offering is all about not only being integrated and an authority on the changing comms environment, but also as a circus ringmaster.
No small feat.