Full service advertising agencies are filled with talented people but often lack specialists that have a much narrower focus of expertise.
Consumers, brand marketers and marketing channels have changed and so has the traditional advertising agency. Smaller agencies often possess specialties and a nimbleness that allows them to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing marketing landscape. They can complement or compete with much larger, full service advertising agencies.
Brands are electing to choose a multi-agency model because of the specialized expertise it provides.
Bob Williams leads a specialty agency, Burns Entertainment, that matches consumer brands with celebrities and licensing music for advertising campaigns and promotions. When the agency was started back in 1970, it was the first agency of its kind.
Burns’ small staff is made up of individuals who possess a great amount of experience and talent related to their specific focus. For instance, one of Bob’s partners is an attorney, an expert in celebrity contracts and negotiations. He leads Burn’s endorsement division, which contracts highly compensated celebrities. This isn’t the kind of expertise that you usually find in an advertising agency.
If you are a CMO considering a multi-agency approach for the first time, you should define who is going to be responsible for what and who will lead your team.
Your role is like a symphony conductor. Your primary duty is to unify the performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and help shape the outcomes.
Having a multi-agency team means the people you work with are going to have specific areas of expertise. Your aim should be to unify their diverse experience, skills and distinctive roles into a powerful, collaborative team.
It is in your best interest that your agencies work together, not against one another. Clearly communicating the roles, responsibilities and assignments will lessen the backstage politics and reduce the fear of agencies poaching business from one another.
A huge benefit of your team’s collaboration is in the development of the best possible marketing campaign for your product.
A multi-agency approach can provide additional benefits:
- Diverse areas of expertise helps to assure the success of your marketing campaign.
- It can significantly reduce and control overall marketing costs (For example, Bob’s celebrity marketing agency has the expertise to save significant marketing dollars negotiating celebrity contracts).
- Specialty agencies typically costs less thus, you are paying less for expertise in a given area.
- It saves time and minimizes costly mistakes.
- Creating and implementing a marketing campaign is much easier. It has the potential to lessen your workload, rather than add to it.
Has your company or agency been part of a multi-agency model? Please share your insights and thoughts in the comment section below.