There’s a lot of talk from agencies (advertising and design) at the moment about the frustration they have with clients who are not committing – not committing to budgets, to ideas, to planning, to anything that helps an agency to continue to tick along nicely.
One of the things that keeps traditional agencies afloat (especially the big ones) is the ability to continually generate large amounts of funding over long periods of time.
And that’s the rub.
Traditional agency structure and funding requirements are not keeping pace with their clients’ realities. That reality is being shaped by constant change. On a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Changes in budget, people, outlook, structure, job description and even job viability are shaping our clients’ new reality on a daily basis.
How can clients be expected to plan for the long term, and make solid commitments to anything when they’re working on shifting sands, and sometimes, don’t even know if they have a job, let alone a marketing budget.
Do agencies need to re-think their approach to helping clients engage with their audiences?
If they want to stay relevant to their clients’ realities, yes.
And it starts by developing plans that clients feel they can engage with themselves.
So we’re developing another way. To use a phrase that is so often thrown around in traditional agency circles – but oddly not often put into practice by the agencies themselves – a more customer-centric way.