Five characteristics of highly successful agencies

Brands don’t buy the traditional agency business model of creativity and advertising any more. Agencies have to rethink their strategy and redefine their business models. Agencies aren’t simply divided into above-the-line or below-the-line anymore. From the experience with hundreds of agencies, we have seen transparency and accountability wiping out the traditional agency model. What makes an agency sustainable and successful? In this article we share the 5 characteristics of successful agencies

Five characteristics of highly successful agencies
Five characteristics of highly successful agencies

Redefinition of the traditional agency

If not already, every traditional agency needs to redefine its core structure. Uncomfortably enough, to do so, agencies have to ask themselves the questions they would typically ask their clients.

“What makes your business unique?”
“Why should a company pay for that? What is your added value?”

If you’re having difficulties asking yourself these questions, you could of course hire an agency to screen your proposition.

Not everything related to advertising changed since the sixties though. Mad Men’s Don Draper was right when he said:

“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.”

The difference is the way that this reassurance is broadcasted to the market. Or should we say: the fact that the message is not simply broadcasted, but shared.

Five characteristics of highly successful agencies

Successful agencies focus on the customer and the goals. They are able to analyse gigabytes of data to understand the preferences of individual customers. Creativity in combination with technology is utilized to exceed targets and revenues come from a wide array of scalable services and products.

Successful agencies share at least four of the following five characteristics.

  1. A substantial part of our revenues is recurring
  2. Technology is an enabler for our business
  3. We collaborate with other agencies and specialists, they allow us to excel in what we do
  4. Our business is scalable
  5. Creativity? Great, but how does it contribute to reaching goals?

Brainstorm Internet Marketing sketched the following infographic of these five characteristics:

Five characteristics of highly successful agencies
Five characteristics of highly successful agencies

Over the next few bog posts we will dive deeper in to each of these characteristics.

What do you think? Is this a complete list, or did we miss a characteristic? Which of the characteristics mentioned above do you find most difficult to apply to your business?

About the author

For over a decade Walter has been on top of developments for agencies. He has helped hundreds of agencies with the implementation of more sustainable business models. +

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