This is a nice read and I agree with a lot of the sentiments expressed. Where there hasn't been, there needs to be a pretty significant shift in how ideas are formed, how the ideas works, and the execution of the ideas. And yes, without that, an ad business is in danger of being rendered obsolete. But getting all that done is totally attainable and well demonstrated by the better ad shops out there today.
I do almost completely disagree with the idea of running an ad shop like a startup, though. Startups work the way they do only because they must (the pre-seed startup grind is only palatable because of the glimmer of hope for a big payout later on). In advertising, that's a quick way to burn people out and come up with shitty ideas. Beginning with a budget doesn't necessarily mean ideas are less risky or opportunistic. It just means that risky and opportunistic ideas are given more resources to become refined and successful.
Going to design school in Los Angeles I quickly realized a lot of my opportunities would be at Ad Agencies. I tried working with smaller agencies and found that I held fundamentally different views than people there and it caused a lot of friction. I cared about the user's needs instead of the client's needs and it made me realize I was in the wrong place. Having switched focus to startups and their products I've been much happier, and have never once looked back.
It seems like a lot of agencies try to be one stop shops for their clients to maximize profits, and these days a lot of clients want apps or something app-like to market their products, so it's only natural for agencies to find their way into the space. I don't think this move is inherently good for bad, it just means we need to be a bit more educated before hopping on board with an agency expecting to do UX work
This hit very close to home, and sums up many of my own concerns (and daily frustrations).
What's more, is that the big international ad groups are buying up little digital shops at an alarming rate (every few months Ogilvy is acquiring another digital factory). These shops are lean and innovative, but the jury is still out on what happens next.
Agencies can't simply adapt by bringing on new digital blood, and digital teams can't operate under the traditional agency model.
I tend to agree with the article, and can't see the future of agency life much longer.
If user goals and business goals overlap, great results will happen.
Good article. I have some similar concerns for the traditional agency model. I have a question though.
If "we're waiting for the world to change"... what comes next? What does it look like when the world does change? Who changes? Agencies? Clients?
Great find Murat.
This article echos many of my own concerns about the advertising world—mainly about the business model.
Whoops can admin remove my twitter handle, using DN on my phone and cut and pasted from twitter .sorry!