Ask Keith Weed: Are agency models fit for clients' purposes?

Each week, revered marketer and president of the Advertising Association Keith Weed, who will be one of the delegates at The Drum's Can-Do Festival, will take questions from marketers around the world, using his experience to help solve their problems.

Tina Fegent, procurement consultant: With over 20 agency models already existing (as per mine and Steve Antoniewicz's work last year), will we see the ecosystem settle down, or do we need other models to make agencies future-fit for their clients’ requirements? Should clients push for new models or wait for agencies to innovate?

Keith: Thanks for the question, Tina, and in answer: both! Let me share my thoughts on why. Consumers‘ behaviour and their relationship with advertising has changed radically, firstly with the impact of the internet and then with the introduction of the mobile. As a result, agencies and advertisers alike have been incredibly innovative and entrepreneurial, developing multiple new brand-building opportunities, from social and search to programmatic and precision marketing. New agencies have been created and multiple agency models developed, as you captured in your recent article.

That said, I believe it‘s best for the client/advertiser to be clear on their brand development strategy and therefore what services they require from an agency in support of building their brands. An agency can then respond with the appropriate model. However, in my experience, many clients don’t have sufficient clarity on their brand development needs in a changing digital world, which makes it difficult for agencies to respond. At the same time, I don’t think advertisers are as close to developments of new advertising techniques as agencies are. So, in many cases it’s for the agency to define their vision of how brands are built and develop an agency model to achieve this. Ultimately, clients should push for what they need and agencies should continue to innovate and optimise their models.

Weed will be one of a number of speakers at The Drum's forthcoming Can-Do Festival. Details on the event can be found here.

If you want to ask Keith Weed a marketing question to consider in a future installment, email stephen.lepitak@thedrum.com

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