Well, they have done it again. The big agencies continue to show brand marketers that smaller, quicker, brighter and more provocative agencies are better for their brands. With giants Omnicom and Publicis merging just last week ($23 billion in billings! and over 130,000 employees!!), I can’t imagine many benefits to their client base or their internal teams. Sure they will have more clout in media purchasing but what about creativity and service? I’m sure as with most mergers there will be consolidation throughout each agency which will include account service and creative. I’ve read several articles this week and frankly there hasn’t been a lot of communication about how all of this is good for their clients; there is a lot of information about how it is good for two guys on top and the shareholder with an anticipated savings of $500 million.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the big clients will continue to work with these agencies but I also believe that just like the big bank mergers, several brands will go looking for a solution that will deliver senior level talent, incredible service, more creative problem solving, an entrepreneurial culture and better results. Personally, I switched from a large bank to a community bank 10 years ago when my bank merged and they told me nothing would change for me but when I called my account executive 30 days later, he wasn’t there anymore??
From my experience, clients are looking to build a trusting relationship with their agency. I know firsthand our clients appreciate that me, the agency owner, am involved in their business. I can walk into a board room with 25 years’ experience in our industry along with a few (ok, I’m getting vain) grey hairs and can talk from my experience about how to solve their problems/opportunities. We love being “small”. We never want to be big! Ok, call me selfish but I want to do the fun stuff and that includes helping clients get tangible results. As long as we continue to work with 10-12 clients, I can be involved and can stay away from the admin of the business. I know that our size is better for our clients, my team and me too.
So, I certainly hope the big guys keep consolidating and continue making decisions that are not in their client’s best interest because as a “little guy”, I’m very comfortable in my skin!