Is your marketing agency Future Proofed?

Wexley is closing… where did Creature go? What is happening to Seattle’s Marketing Agency landsacpe. Many have closed their doors citing challenges with the current climate and changes with internal marketing teams who are outsourcing to solopreneurs.

Right now, if you Google Freelance Marketing in Seattle over 4,000 jobs will pop up via LinkedIn. Just how many of those will garner quality talent leads or end up a depressing time sink of dead ends is a major variable.

Freelance Marketing Seattle

In April, Ad Age Magazine dedicated an entire edition to the changes in agency business models. So while it’s felt like a Seattle thing, the death of the agency business model is universal.

In an Ad Age article on future agency models, Publicis Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun says the old holding company model is dead, and that agencies can’t expect the entire world to change and yet work the same way.

He says this is the impetus for Publicis’ own transformation and pace of change. Adding their evolving ability to help clients with business transformation is instrumental in their main challenge:

“How can we really be an indispensable partner for the client and their transformation?”

During a time when the industry is being so challenged, Sadoun says, “We need to make sure our client understands why we are unique and we need to give the proof to the market that we are ready to accelerate our growth and profits in the years to come.”

“We are trying to regain the trust of the financial markets by making the demonstration that our model is future-proof,” Sadoun says.

In an article on finding agency balance in Ad Age, Matt Spangler of Compass shared:

“As more and more companies go directly to consumer, [they’re realizing that] in order to have this connection point, to move quickly and own the change in their brand, they need to build that expertise in-house,” he says. “It will let them learn on the fly what’s right for their market, their brand.”

Yet it can be a minefield when trying to structure internal teams, retain top creative talent and integrate staffers of different disciplines to avoid the dreaded silo effect. So how do Seattle agencies produce the digital content their clients constantly need in the most cost-effective and time efficient way possible?

With technological advancements and cultural changes shifting traditional employment to more independent work, it’s a time of flux with room for great opportunity and improvement.

In an article in Ad News, Anne Miles, a former creative services business coach, laments on the countless agencies who are still working with outdated principles – where they benefit from increased head hours on each project, rather than for the results or for their own efficient process. Worst of all there is no incentive to use experienced, proven talent who are more efficient.

“Ultimately it would be wonderful for agencies to survive and to offer great work to brands by doing things differently. This feeds a wider production industry that relies on agencies. It is crucial to keep the best people working.”

Fortunately, soon for Seattle, there will be more options opening up. Marketing services collectives like Communo enabling marketing agencies to stay agile, lean and smartly scale up when the floodgates of work rush open.

Doing things differently like reducing traditional agency model costs and leveraging options to pull from a pool of quality pre-vetted creative professionals, rather than retaining your own creative talent full-time.

Collectives that free you from the stranglehold of a long-term lease and enable you to partner with other professionals to win bigger business.

To learn more about the new wave of agency models coming to Seattle check out “Is the Agency Model Dead” event June 20th for a panel discussion with four agency founders to hear how they’re meeting these new challenges and changing their business models to keep their doors open.


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