Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Agency workers of the world unite and take over - you have nothing to lose but your marketing chains.

And for in-house marketers, you have a choice.

There are changes happening in the agency world that in-house marketers, agency staff and any businessman interested in buying marketing or PR services should note.

It was not very long ago that the big agency names dominated, ruling the agency world like primeval dinosaurs. But a few years back the smaller players emerged. Young ambitious agencies started to take root and challenge the old order.

Hungry marketing agency staff learnt the skills of their particular discipline. They became good at what they did and they began to believe they could survive and prosper in the harsh climate of the agency world.

But could they really survive in the untamed and competitive world of the marketing agency? The answer was yes. Many fell by the wayside but many grew from one or two ambitious staff to a team and a place in the hierarchy.

Things are changing again. How do I know? Ask recruiters if they can easily attract the experienced marketing, PR, design and advertising staff for agencies. The answer is that it is not as easy as it once was. Why? It is because the new breed of freelancer has emerged. The micro agency will evolve and become a part of the landscape. Fewer agency staff are attracted to working for anyone but themselves.

But if you have kept up with my Jurassic Park metaphors and you are interested as an agency worker or in-house why it matters I will drop the Darwin inspired terms.

For the in-house marketer it means choice. Over used as a term I know but it really does. There is a place for the marketing behemoth. But not every company will be suited to working with the biggest agencies and the biggest agencies will not always be suited to them.

Big agencies are often very good for big clients with big budgets. There is no doubt that smaller agencies can often be great suppliers for big companies as well. However, the bigger, and medium sized, agencies generally want the larger fee payer. Sometimes the client chooses them because a big name satisfies the demands of a company’s ego. Sometimes, and very often, it is the result that a marketer or the managing director does not know the agency scene and just goes for the names they know, irrespective of how suitable they are.

I urge in-house marketers and anyone buying in marketing services to shop around.

When you buy a car do you pick the first one you see or have heard about? There would be no point buying a Ferrari because it is the most impressive and expensive car if your requirements need to take account of a family. In the same way you should chose the agency that meets your needs based on: cost, specialist skills, sector experience and most importantly, eagerness to work with you and general attitude.

With the emergence of the micro agency and smaller players, the choice to shop around has increased. Do not overlook this resource. They can be just as often as good as the bigger agencies and often better. They can also be much cheaper and more enthusiastic. They need your business. They cannot afford to lose an account like some can without even a shrug of the shoulders. And most importantly they need to impress you so they can grow by recommendation.

And now to refer to my catchy title. Agency marketers you do not have to be at the mercy of agency politics, redundancy and slave conditions. (If you are good agency boss please excuse the last sentence). Sure, it is really difficult to work for yourself, but it can be done. You will have a new set of problems. Yet, every big agency was small once. I am not saying drop everything and do a marketer version of The Good Life. If you just find yourself without a position because of redundancy, family commitments or you are returning to work, it is worth considering. Or you just want to try to work for yourself rather than someone else and have the time and the cash to give it a go.

There is a market for the micro business. Small and medium sized companies can benefit from affordable experience and skills, as indeed can bigger companies.

There are many brilliant agencies, both large and small. There are many freelancers and micro agencies to consider as well.

So before you buy marketing or PR services again know that the first or biggest name you hear is not the only name to contact. Things are changing in the agency world, take note and take advantage.

Rob Baker set-up Artisan Marketing Communication this year to give enterprises of all sizes, and especially smaller players, more choice and affordable PR to grow their businesses. Rob welcomes your comments, even from marketing dinosaurs -


Post a Comment

<< Home