An Agency For Agencies?

by Jay Deragon on 11/07/2009

I received the following message from a connection through Linkedin.  Hello, My latest position at an ad agency came to a close this week, as the company went out of business. I am forwarding you my LinkedIn profile in hopes that you or someone you know may be aware of job opportunities in advertising, marketing or social media. This request made me think about the “Agency business” and why is might be failing for those unaware.

Advertising agencies are known for the creative skills in creating images and messages that get people’s attention. They are also known for creating integrated ad campaigns using every kind of media imaginable. A lot of talented folks have created some of the best ads known on the planet.

Then Social Media Disrupts The Process!

There is a clear shift from mass media that creates attention to conversational media that keeps our attention. The difference is in the form and context of media, content in every form. You’d have to be living in a cave not to know how social media is changing market dynamics for every single industry. The dynamics have flipped from push to pull as have the thinking behind each underlying methods.  Agencies who do not understand and master the methods will quickly fail to exist. Why? The anwser is simply because the market is demanding new methods which requires new thinking.

Is The Thinking Old Or New?

Renee Cassard writes “With social media, the importance of  interaction has resurfaced. SM provides a vehicle in which the local, more personalized business transaction can be reintroduced into the mix. Previous mandates of telephone scripts and corporate liability statements have rendered these transactions dormant in more recent years. The introduction of social media gives corporations a wonderful opportunity to find someone who believes in them to represent their company. This is good for internal morale and for bringing the human element into the mix again. It engages consumers in more authentic, less scripted conversation. Mind you, this doesn’t mean a business should overlook the development of a social media strategy. Quite the opposite, actually. It simply means that in today’s world, social media gives companies the chance to value those who work for them and have passion about their company, products, and what they do. Who better than these people to interact with your consumer, or former “receiver” turned “sender” of your company’s message? “

“In the end, simple and classical business interactions are what lie at the foundations of social media, and ultimately will ensure its ongoing success. So when a client asks you about the “new” thing – social media – you might prompt them to consider whether it really is something scary and new, or something tried and true!”

Renee says it well. The essence of social media is relational rather than institutional. Relational communications has been the fiber of human interaction since the beginning of time. What has happened is that the market, and the thinking behind the market, has gotten away from relations and chased “tricks of the trade” aimed at getting our attention.

Our attention has shifted back to what is natural, relational and meaningful. Sometimes going “back to the future” means having to learn what makes relationships work.  While being creative is part of the equation a meaningful conversation is the entire equation.

Agencies that don’t get this will die a fast death as will the companies they serve. Maybe agencies need help understanding this.  Most agency web sites do not reflect any understanding of social media. Most agencies cannot even begin to explain social media. Most agencies have little experience using social media for themselves or their clients.  That being the case most agencies are in trouble.

What is your opinion?


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Mark May 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Social Media is really one of the best way to promote business.

ingenesist November 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm

RT @JDeragon An Agency For Agencies?

ingenesist November 8, 2009 at 9:13 am

RT @JDeragon An Agency For Agencies?

Joan Weinberg November 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm

From my blog “The Agency Shrink is In”

No going back: PR and advertising agencies need “to social media”

I hereby declare “to social media” to be a new verb.

There are still agencies that are advising their clients to blog, Twitter, Facebook — but they’re not doing this themselves. When I’m working on an agency search, I look for those agencies that don’t just talk the talk (“You, the client, should be engaging in social media”), but walk the walk (“We as an agency engage in social media.”).

I’m still of the mind that not all clients, especially some in the B2B arena, need to blog. But for sure, any company that’s B2C needs to be doing this. In the meantime, when I’m working on a search, I’m looking for agencies that have an in-house blogger or that contract out. These are the agencies that truly understand how to advise their clients, especially if the client has a blog or Twitters and opens itself up to being clobbered online.

If you’re a North American or UK PR agency or advertising agency without social media savvy, I need to move on to the next agency.

If you’re an agency in Germany or Italy or some of the other Western European nations or for that matter the rest of the globe, you’re temporarily excused. Your markets are only just beginning to catch on to the ways that social media can help your clients’ — and your — business grow.

Harish Kotadia November 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm

An Agency For Agencies? #sCRM #PR #marketing

Stephanie Sharp November 7, 2009 at 12:05 pm

RT @simonmainwaring via @JDeragon An Agency For Agencies?

Simon Mainwaring November 7, 2009 at 11:34 am

RT @JDeragon An Agency For Agencies?

murph tec November 7, 2009 at 6:30 am

RT @JDeragon An Agency For Agencies?

Alltop November 7, 2009 at 6:10 am

An Agency For Agencies?

JobShoots November 7, 2009 at 5:56 am

An Agency For Agencies? #news #socialmedia

Brendan McManus November 7, 2009 at 5:55 am

An Agency For Agencies? #news #socialmedia

Wales Social Media November 7, 2009 at 5:50 am

An Agency For Agencies? #socialmedia #news

smconnection November 7, 2009 at 5:40 am

An Agency For Agencies?: Agencies that don't get this will die a fast death as will the companies they serve.

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