Well actually, there wasn’t. He’s a fictional character at a fictional ad agency, but there were people just like him at agencies just like his who began servicing clients back in the 50s and 60s.
These early agencies were the definition of full service.
They handled everything and anything their clients would throw at them — whether it was ad buys, photography, creative, copywriting, and even casting.
But as the industry evolved the agency began to fracture.
Instead of a handful of big full-service agencies, there were a series of smaller agencies who specialized in specific sectors or disciplines. Those agencies in turn split into even more niche agencies, who then split into more niche agencies who then — you get the picture.
The internet accelerated this trend towards specialization as the rapid arrival of each new technology created the need for a new specialist agency to deliver it at a high-level.
Fast forward to today and most organizations work with multiple agencies. They have someone to help them with their SEO, another agency that looks after their social, someone else who handles their digital marketing, or their website, or their content.
If that sounds confusing, it’s because it is.
Managing these agencies has become a full-time job for organizations as they attempt to wrangle numerous providers to deliver different aspects of each and every campaign.
Beyond the difficulty of managing multiple partners, there is another more significant impact: inconsistency of strategy and dilution of effectiveness caused by a lack of cohesion across all of these partners.
The biggest issue is strategy.
How do you see the bigger picture when there are so many people who are focused on individual segments of a campaign?
Even if there is an overarching strategy in place, it will all too often get lost in translation between the various agencies who are naturally blinkered by their specializations. The end result is that campaigns get fragmented, and no matter how good individual aspects of it are, they fail to add up to the sum of their parts.
To use the old adage, it can be hard for organizations to see the forest for the trees.
Maybe it’s time to shift the perspective?
Audiences in today’s modern marketing landscape are more sophisticated than ever before, and as a result, organizations need to turn to ever more sophisticated solutions in order to connect with them.
It’s vital that organizations identify the right platforms, tactics, and technologies to deliver their business objectives and then implement them. To flip the adage on its head, they need to see the whole forest so they can pick the right trees.
As a result, strategy is once again taking center stage.
It’s no longer good enough to have great SEO, design or content — instead, each and every aspect of your marketing has to work in harmony, creating holistic campaigns that deliver the right information, to the right people, at the right time.
That’s why we’re getting the band back together.
No, we’re not advocating a return to the agencies of old - where drinks carts, expense accounts and suits so sharp they could cut diamonds were standard (although the drink cart sounds pretty good). Nor are we calling for an end to specialization.
Instead, we’re bringing the idea of ‘the agency’ back to life, by piecing together the fragmented disciplines of marketing so that we can see the big picture. We’re not just specialists in individual disciplines. Instead, we’re in a unique position to have world-class talent that covers the full spectrum of modern marketing. As a result, we can return to a cohesive model where we can deliver the consistent quality you would expect from a traditional agency.
That’s why we’ve gathered together a cross-functional team of specialists all under one roof. From great design and development to advertising, creative, copywriting, and SEO we have a team of experts ready to tackle anything and everything your organization can throw at it.
Offering this full spectrum of marketing services we’re able to connect the dots of your campaigns, making sure that strategy is at the center of each and everything that we do. And, by taking this strategic centralized approach we’re able to help organizations to see the big picture, identifying the channels, tactics, and technologies that will drive their business forward.
At the end of the day, it’s about taking a step back in order to move in the right direction. A conscious decision to go back to the original concept of what the agency should be so that we can help our clients to move forward.