Modern Agency: More McKinsey, Less Madison Avenue

I work with a pretty wide variety of agencies, from small digital production shops that may have 2 partners to some of the largest, best known ad agencies in the US. Almost all of them are struggling with the dramatic changes in the services  brands need to thrive. The small production shops seem bewildered when we ask them to bring us "big ideas" and we reject their cool app idea. The big agencies seem bewildered when we ask them to more strategically integrate social and digital into their thinking and we reject their app idea. 

Both are too focused on the output, the visible end product of their "process" and their people. What we're really seeking is smarter thinking about how brands are built and a more nuanced understanding of how to solve the business problems we're dealing with. The answer is rarely a single ad, app or video. As people are more deeply & frequently connected than ever, the business solutions, the big ideas, are  going to have to be just as networked. Our brands and marketers are seeking more nuanced solutions to meet a more complex business challenge. 

The best brand stories are always going to be simple, clear articulations of a well thought through position. BUt, the way those stories are built and delivered will require a command of many more tools. Its going to be an almost algorythmic approach to delivering the messages. We'll need partners with a deep appreciation of the how all the variables in the algorythm interrelate, not just the biggest ones.  We'll need more McKinsey, less Madison Avenue. 



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