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 are stuck on advertising.

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 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 business 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?

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:


Read: Are Marketers Still Stewarts of the Brand.

What’s Wrong with Client Agency Relationships?


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