There’s a reason why most advertising creative development is produced by a pair working together… the visual artist and the copywriter. They work together as a team, each of them applying their particular skill set and experience, yet combining to create powerful advertising that solves a marketing challenge. So entwined are they (when gelling well of course), that it is not uncommon for them to traverse their agency careers, moving from one agency to another, as a unit. Can you imagine a scenario where instead, these two are based in different buildings and working for different companies, but on the same campaign? It’s hard to believe that the same quality of work could ensue when their interactions are by phone, email and weekly meetings. Well, that’s exactly what we have for the broader disciplines of creative and media today.
In Australia (and indeed overseas too), the media agency and the main creative agency appointed for most clients are unconnected to each other. This is because clients favour the best of breed approach that encourages them to pitch each discipline separately and then appoint the best agency for them in each. The expectation is that each specialist agency delivers the best work possible in the market and the resulting message seen by the consumer is the impactful fusion of all these agency specialists combining to achieve advertising excellence. But is it? Does a basket of separately owned marcomms agencies deliver markedly better outcomes than advertising that emanates from the small but growing list of full service agencies? Can anybody actually point to proof that is the case? If not, then why is it still the predominant way marketers approach their outsourcing? Because I am absolutely certain that I could poll 100 marketers about their main grievances with agencies and receive as one of the highest responses that they wished their agencies would work better together. I’ve also heard it said (often) that marketers are spending way too much time managing and co-ordinating with their agencies, far beyond the stated allocation in their KPIs.
Media rightly disconnected from creative agencies over 30 years ago in order to allow the unfettered growth of this discipline and earn their right to a seat at the CMO’s table. But the industry has changed enormously since then and there are now so many media specialists competing for this seat. Digital has brought us real-time visibility and opened the door for the instant delivery of tailored creative and offers to prospects. Now programmatic buying is migrating into traditional channels and taking a step closer to broader real time marketing, could this be a good time for media and creative to reunite and prove that the benefits of a combined offering outweigh any marketer perceptions of compromise?
One team. One vision. One fully crafted solution. Better together? Perhaps.
What do you think?
(This post was originally published on LinkedIn.)