Will anyone predict a riot for 2017 at The Drum Network's next Business Jam in December?


By Richard Draycott, Managing Director

November 23, 2016 | 5 min read

December is fast approaching and naturally business publications such as The Drum will soon start to feature 'predictions' articles for the year ahead. In fact, The Drum even has an excellent printed supplement coming out in January where the great and good will offer their thoughts on what 2017 will hold.

Business Jam predictions

Considering what has transpired politically, economically and socially around the world in 2016, being tasked with making predictions for what 2017 will hold for marketing services agencies in the UK would fill me with complete dread. But that is exactly what we are going to be asking agencies and clients to do at The Drum Network’s next Business Jam event, which is looking at where agency growth and profits will come from in 2017.

From the results of the EU Referendum and the more recent US Presidential Election I think we can conclude that by and large there are huge swathes of people/consumers in many of the so called ‘developed nations’ around the world who are hugely disaffected and dissatisfied with the ‘establishment’ and, in this the age of 24-hour digital communications, now have the tools at their disposal to mount significant movements to trigger substantial change in our world.

So, I’ll leave the predictions up to the speakers and panelists at our next Business Jam on Tuesday 13th December, which we would love to see you at. However, rather than make any predictions what I will do here is make a couple of suggestions for the year ahead.

If you are an ambitious agency, then my first suggestion is a cliché, but I believe this has never held more sway – ‘don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do (or want to do) today’.

Naturally, growing agencies should plan growth and spot opportunities to expand and build their business. But we live in a world of constant disruption. I genuinely believe that with all the civil, political and financial unrest in the world there will never be a ‘perfect time’ to consider expanding your agency, either into new disciplines or geographical markets.

The days of deciding to ‘wait a year’ to see how the economy is looking are long gone. With so many threats in all regions around the world now there is simply no point in waiting for the perfect market conditions for growth. With such uncertainty ahead, we may indeed already be living in the best of times.

For many years, I’ve spoken to and written about agencies and the agencies who always do the best are the ones who follow their ambition regardless of market conditions. Those agencies who when I ask about the downturn, they reply ‘what downturn?”

My next suggestion is that all agencies should have damn good look at how they get compensated by clients for what they do. I believe that value-added pricing strategies are something that all agencies should be looking at for the years ahead as inevitably clients will be looking to cut costs considering the uncertain times ahead.

It is essential that marketing agencies are never backed into the corner where they see themselves as a cost to clients rather than an investment in a client’s brand, product or service. I visit many agencies every month and most times see something that they are doing or a partnership that they may have that could be packaged up to help support their pricing strategies.

Scope creep continues to be one of the biggest threats to agencies and as we head into uncertain times, particularly as Brexit is negotiated in the years ahead, it is vital that agencies keep a tight rein on what they are willing to give away for free to keep a client happy and on their client list.

Naturally there are more treats on the horizon and many of these will be outlined and debated at The Drum Network’s Business Jam event on 13th December in London. We will be hearing from clients such as AirBnB and Cadbury’s, agencies such as Amaze, LONDON Advertising and Whistlejacket and experts such as Green Square and Pearlfinders, so there will be lots of insights and debate to be had. So, please join us by clicking here and get a jump on 2017.

Drum Network members can attend for FREE, but we do have a limited number of non-members tickets available which can be obtained by clicking here.


More from Marketing

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +