To many, the idea of competing with global ad agencies is a daunting task. But smaller agencies are doing exactly that and with great aplomb. This isn’t so surprising given that smaller agencies are renowned for their fearless work cultures. Often founded by creatives who have extensive experience working with bigger agencies, they’re kicking off smaller enterprises with not only a wealth of knowledge but gutsiness and vision. This is leading the charge on innovation in the industry.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why small ad agencies are snatching work away from their larger counterparts. Last week we reviewed why big brands are turning to smaller agencies for projects, and there’s an obvious overlap with today’s subject matter. With less staff and overheads, smaller agencies are way ahead of the game in terms of competitive rates.
Additionally, specialisation is enabling them to break free from generic offerings that have become staple fair in the industry. There’s also the fact that, if you’re a brand, you can get your message across easier when working directly with creatives on your projects. You’re also guaranteed that more time will be spent creatively on projects because small agencies are not bound to the same type of bureaucracy as larger organisations.
Something we didn’t really touch on last week, though, was workflow and processes With larger agencies, where brands invariably work with a number of departments across the organisation, there’s bound to be more processes, checklists and marketing tools to manage projects. And there’s nothing like having to spend your day administering and interchanging marketing tools, to burn a hole in your creativity and enthusiasm. By comparison, just by way of having less staff, smaller agencies will often have simplier workflow processes and cross over of marketing tools. This can offer them the agility to turn work around faster to meet tight deadlines.
Smaller ad agencies are also known for supporting young blood who are highly adept with technology. Not only does this mean they can navigate the immediacy of today’s digital media, it’s more likely they’re conducive to utilising the latest tools for managing approval workflow. There’s currently a vast array of approval workflow and online proofing tools in the marketplace that can cut down on the tedious administration when managing projects. In addition to this, smaller agencies are more equipped to change their methodology to suit brands because their size and flexible work cultures support this.
Of course, there’s always the flip side to any argument. Next week we’ll take a look at some of the inherent risks of working with smaller agencies.
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