Advertising agency professionals are not only trying to keep their agencies afloat, but they are also trying to reinvent how they provide their services and present their creative ventures.
Of course, when there is uncertainty, people crawl out of the woodwork to suggest their ideas. We are hearing suggestions, theories, and practices from today's thought leaders to the young and boisterous.
We'd like to think we're somewhere in between.
Paddy Griffith, the CEO of Havas-owned Havas Work Club, contributed an article to Digiday that suggested that agencies, and more specifically holding companies, should act more like management consultancies. The holding companies should do this fast or else be left behind.
Griffith's rationale is an interesting one. Paddy is impressed with the way management companies pool their talent; they know exactly what skills and expertise is in the building and how they are able to leverage the best team with a client, and they execute. Paddy also tells us that these management consultancies regularly train and update their workforce, making sure their people stay ahead of the game.
Certainly not bad traits to copy.
In a land once ruled by creatives, AdLand does indeed need to adopt a similar philosophy. We agree with Paddy that holding companies, big agencies, and even big brands need to improve how they manage their talent. In improving talent management, these brands and agencies will know exactly what they can provide to their stakeholders with the impeccable quality that management consultancies are known to possess.
Perhaps this is the argument that can win the C-Suite over; trade in our traditional agency hierarchy for a streamlined style of management and knowledge maintenance.
At least, it's worth a shot.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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