Virtually every industry is having the same conversation - what will change in a post-pandemic world? As it relates to Advertising Agencies, much has been discussed on the changes that need to be made to diversify and educate staff, update outdated policies and procedures, and reshuffle accounts (or not so much). But not much has been discussed on updating the creative and media agency relationship.
For the last ten years, as agencies have become increasingly segmented and specialized, creative and media teams have drifted so far apart - to the detriment of the client. We often hear from potential clients that their creative agency never speaks to their media agency, even going so far as to sometimes classify them as competitive or hostile to one another. This not only puts the client in the position of having to serve as liaison, but also requires them to be expert in both worlds in order to best serve the goals and objectives of the organization - when the whole point of hiring an agency in the first place is to bring in the experts.
Why can’t the future of the agency include going back to the full-service model? SBA has been a full-service agency since inception, and offering creative services along with media planning and buying remains our biggest asset to clients and to the success of our campaigns. We often tout the benefits of having both disciplines under one roof being related to optimizations of campaigns - not just how the media can perform better but what tweaks can be made to the ads themselves to more effectively achieve goals in real time. But what we’ve come to understand as an even bigger benefit is the exchange of ideas and the expanded knowledge our creative team has about media and vice versa.
When we’re designing advertising campaigns, our creative team has a much more robust and nuanced understanding of how and where the media will run, and therefore all the implications that has on consumer behavior and mindset when viewing an ad. And on the flip side, after talking to the creative team and understanding their goals and objectives for the campaign, the media team can recommend placements or channels that may not have originally been considered. All of that comes before prototypes are developed, plans are made, and the client even sees a concept. If that is not reason enough to merge the two disciplines, consider the fact that when your creative and media teams are the same, there is only one place to point the finger when things don’t go according to plan. Sure, from an agency perspective, this makes the stakes higher, but it also increases the opportunity for success. From the clients perspective, imagine never having to be caught refereeing a game of pointing fingers between your creative and media agencies again - that’s a vision of the future I’m sure we can all agree on!