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Agencies versus consultancies: Should we believe the hype?

Posted on 13.12.2017

Suits vs Shoreditch

If management consultancies like Accenture, Deloitte and EY continue to buy up advertising agencies, what will this mean for the everyday life in the sector?

Will it change the way the advertising industry works or can we expect business as usual? We spoke to an expert panel to find out.

Read on for a snapshot of the discussion. Or, even better, you can access the full report here: Future of Agencies

Our panellists:

Russell Marsh, MD at Accenture Digital UK&I, with 20 years of experience working in the digital and creative media industries

Becky McOwen-Banks, Creative Director at FCB Inferno, NED at Creative Equals, and speaker at TEDx Covent Garden

Bill Brock, Founding Partner at AnalogFolk, an independent global creative agency on a mission to make the analogue world better through digital

What does today’s industry landscape look like?

 “The biggest change for us in the last two-to-three years has been the merging of marketing, customer experience, sales and retail teams.  It all needs to be much more joined up; whether you’re a technology agency or a data agency, you need to be able to understand, consult and create great work across all three of those things. And this might not be three different platforms but these things baked into one idea.” Bill

Is the move towards management consultancies a threat to creative agencies?

“They are a threat in that while the budgets aren’t getting any bigger, there are now more players in the game. But the reason people always come to agencies is that we sit outside the box. Management consultancies are great at the business of running a business – but that’s not the same toolkit you need to make connections.

“They’re more about things that can be planned than those emotional leaps that make people love your brand. If we move things to this more logical place, we’ll end up with advertising that does the job, does alright, but will it lead to people consistently following and loving your brand? I’m not sure it will. That’s where agencies will have the advantage.” Becky

“Every organisation is about speed and immediacy. We want great things and we want them faster. Clients want speed and large organisations find it hard to innovate.

“Management consultants have the ability to look at a business’ requirement and build from the bottom up. They don’t just add branding on top, they change how businesses function. For example, the BBC started with engineers, not creatives. The creatives came after.  Now, as data becomes more important, we need to demonstrate measurable results.  It’s the same thing being approached from different angles.” Russell

Want to know more?

Our panel discussed everything from the integration of creative and analytical to how the day to day may change. You can read the full write up here: Future of Agencies Report

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Author: Alice Weightman

As Founder and CEO, Alice established Hanson Search in 2002 and has since gained a reputation as one of the leading search professionals in senior appointments across communications, developing an incredible network globally.

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