Advertising these days seems can be likened to having someone in the family squeezing the toothpaste from the middle.
Seth Godin recently talked about the end of mass marketing, although we’ve been talking about if for as long as I can remember: The only thing in this example of the trend to ‘micro marketing’ is the question of the advertising agency.
During the mass marketing years the agency had it’s media commission to prop it up. When media agencies were split off and the agencies became creative agencies, there was still the potential as they relied on mass media to create ‘big advertising’.
We then had the age of the timesheet on retained business, but with increasing pressure from clients and pressure from advertising network holding companies to deliver year on year growth it has been suits and creative people that have felt the squeeze. Agency salaries have not kept up with other sectors and agency talent has started migrating to the client side.
Unfortunately, I do not see this bottleneck as something that the agency alone can solve:
In the days of mass marketing we knew that client money was largely going to waste. The waste, (which was compensating for the work that was not being charged) maintained a certain status quo, but when media agencies split off, they took the money going to waste with them. Creative agencies were left having to haggle for their part with the hours they put into a piece of work.
In the article below it seems it is not just creative agencies with this problem. Digital agencies are also subject to the same pressures. The question is what’s the solution?