Are Agencies And Clients Competitors?


In the New Normal absolutely true.

The sand boxes changed long ago.

Somebody sent me an article recently from the Harvard Business Review.

It was called six reasons why marketing is moving in-house.

It contained the usual suspects.

Agencies are slow.

Agencies on stuck on advertising.

And then the bullet to the heart.  Are agencies attracting the best digital marketing talent?

In the New Normal clients and digital agencies are often doing the same thing on opposite sides of the street.

Managing websites, SEO, PPC, Social Media, E Commerce, etc. etc. etc.

They even have the same dress code.  Agencies do have more dogs and beer.

In the past when clients asked agencies for their creative assets agencies would bock. Today clients want to manage the sites and digital resources that their agencies develop.  They will work with agencies to create their digital children but many clients want to raise them on their own.

In the past agencies did things that clients couldn’t do and agencies prospered.  Today clients and agencies often do many of the same things.

Today both clients and agencies are both competing for the best talent. There is much more fluidity with smart digital folks moving from the client to the agency side or vice versa.  It happened in the past but not so much.

I got an email from an agency the other day.  It said that they are trying to hire the best people but they keep losing people in the middle of the process because they are getting other offers. It’s a hot job market they said.

Many client HR folks don’t believe that because they take less breaths in the digital world.

To succeed in the New Normal agencies must secure the best talent or their business will go to the other side.

Are you going to be able to achieve that by posting your openings on LinkedIn at the same time that clients are doing the identical thing?

The weak underbelly for clients looking to hire the best talent is that the doorway is often managed by HR in many corporate environments.

Before you can talk to us you need to fill out an online application.

Really?  In a world of tweets.

Do you think qualified digital folks are going to fill out an application in the New Normal?

Not a chance.

Maybe after they get hired.

If I was writing an Article on Why Clients Can’t Attract the best digital talent I would say that HR departments are often too slow.  That can get slowed down by process and legal. Roadblocks for sure.

That’s the opportunity but agencies need to get out of their busyness to get the best folks.

Agencies have to up their game and find resources that are digital savvy and are well networked.  You may have to pay some money for outside resources but what’s best? Spending money or losing recurring revenue when what you created moves to the client side?

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Read: Are Marketers Still Stewarts of the Brand.

What’s Wrong with Client Agency Relationships?

I Am Here For You.


I saw a recruiter on a panel once tell the audience that the biggest reason that people leave companies is their immediate boss.

It doesn’t matter how great the company is.

In a way your immediate boss is your employer

I know a number of people in sales.

They tell me their stories.

They have goals. When the meet them they get higher goals.

Then you and your immediate boss get together for a little high five and rah rah session.

What’s your stretch goal they ask? Continue reading

Are Agencies Isolated?


I am always amazed when I reach out to agencies by email and even phone calls when I am doing an agency review that some agencies don’t respond. I get nada.

Imagine the fact that you have to chase an agency when you could be a conduit to New Business.

This has been consistent over the years for all the agency searches I have conducted for brands from Jacuzzi to Toyo Tires.

I often wonder why? Do they think I am trying to sell them something?

Maybe agencies are skeptics. After all when your business is basically selling new ideas then you may get tired of being sold.

Maybe people have changed. Certainly the business has. Continue reading

Want More New Business? Turn It Down.


Chasing New Business is an interesting game. I know because I have played it a lot. From both the agency side and the agency review side.

I learn a lot from walking down both sides of the street.

Some agencies chase every shadow. “We’d be perfect for (name the client)“, they always say.

Some agencies say they don’t respond to RFP’s and only work with clients who seek them out or through referrals. Nice place to be.

Some agencies never respond to my outreach when I am looking for agencies as a search consultant. Surprising but very true on the majority of reviews I have completed. Continue reading

My Intern is Smarter than Me!


There is no doubt about that. I have used paid interns since the time I started my own business in 2001. I had worked successfully in the corporate world and then I started Blank and Associates. I had business cards quickly but I didn’t know much beyond that on how to create a job every day for myself.

So I went back to where I started. My youth. I had nothing to lose then. And then I connected with youth to help me. I hired my first paid intern. He has been in the workforce for a decade now and I pitched him this week on a project.

I have continued to use paid interns since then. Continue reading