Clients are increasingly frustrated with Creative Agencies, and for good reason. There are many contributing factors to how traditional agencies are failing to deliver a good return on investment for its clients. Many of them haven’t yet adapted to the digital side of the business, putting them at a distinct disadvantage. As with all firmly planted models of business, as is such a case with the bigger agencies, change is slow, and therefore adaptability and flexibility is nearly non-existent.
Bloated, Heavy Old Agencies
The Creative Agency industry is suffering. It is full of old-school behemoths who are bloated with too much division of labor and held back by the old way of doing things. Many have posh offices in downtown sky scrapers and redundant staffing issues. While this model still works for the Fortune 500’s, it doesn’t benefit the smaller business clientele. All of the costs and the ancient ways of doing business is only valuable to the agencies and not the clients.
The Agency Gravy Train
If you were to walk into an old school agency these days, you’d likely notice one thing immediately: they typically have ONE big client upon which they hang their hat. In Cincinnati where we are based, that is typically Proctor and Gamble. Nearly every traditional creative agency in the area has done some work with them. This has the effect of making them “over-confident” in their abilities as a creative agency, causing their prices to rise even further. Coupled with the bloat and the brick and mortar expenses that most agencies are saddled with, this tends to push their prices high into the stratosphere where they really need not be.
Failing Client Demand for Value
Small to mid-sized businesses lose out with a poorer quality of service as a result of all the costs involved with a traditional creative agency. Well-established agencies typically have a large staff, a building to maintain, and a lack of mobility when it comes to adapting to various types of clients. The little guys simply don’t have enough purchasing power in the shadow of leviathans that can simply throw money at a problem until it is solved.
It’s time for a change. It’s time for the Creative Agency industry to transform. And we have an idea of how that can happen and have structured our business accordingly – for now and for the future.
Advantages of the Un-agency
A lot of traditional agencies see working for “the little guys” as a stage they have to go through to get to the bigger clients. With us, once you’re a client, you are always our client. We appreciate all the relationships we foster throughout the years, and strive to provide the same quality of service to our existing (and new smaller clients) even as we grow. We love the bigger businesses, don’t misunderstand us here, we just don’t want to rely on them for the majority of our business like traditional agencies tend to do. This makes them dull and unadaptable, which as I have mentioned elsewhere in this article, is a detriment to any CREATIVE business.
Our power is through networking. We have built a web of artists, designers, coders and developers over the years who are not full time employees. We rely on independent contractors that are hired and managed when we find a job suited to them. This allows more flexibility in the creative process. A traditional agency might have a small staff of designers on hand (or perhaps even one!) who will handle nearly all incoming accounts. We are unlimited in the ways we can serve you in this sense, and this makes us more adaptable and have more creative potential. Plus, it goes without saying that not having a full time staff of employees hanging around means that we save core costs, and that savings gets passed on to you.
Greater quality of service since there’s less bureaucracy – you talk to one point of contact, and we take the time to get to know you and your business, our team handles the rest without too much fuss. We listen to what your needs are, really dig into your business to get to the heart of what you’re trying to communicate and the audience you’re seeking. And we’ll adapt to tailor all our creative efforts towards that singular goal of serving you.
The Hunger Games
Ok, so that was a cheap plug, but it illustrates how the Un-Agency is a relatively new type of business in a field dominated by towering giants, and as such we have a lot to prove in the marketplace. This makes us lean and hungry to do well for our clients. We want to do well only by doing well for our clients. We won’t play favorites. We’ll likely never have a gravy train fortune 500 sweetheart consistently giving us business, and that’s okay. We live for the challenges. We want to remain sharp and lean. We want to have a wide variety of clients which will keep us balanced and most of all in touch with the reality of how tough it really is out there for any businesses.