The ad agency is dead? Long live the ideas agency.

Increasingly, we’re coming across clients with internal creative teams and studios. A report from Future Thinking on in-house agencies found that 40% of the larger clients they surveyed now have an in-house agency set up. Most of the creative work worked on internally is digital, with strategy, TV and complex media formats still most likely to go out of house.

While some clients have gripes over the speed and agility with which external agencies deliver projects (not ours!), the vast majority say they value the fresh perspective, creative expertise and strategic capabilities agencies offer (phew!).

It’s unavoidable that, with the advent of always on digital communication, clients need projects delivering faster and more frequently than ever before. And this is only set to increase as we throw AI into the mix. But it’s also true that creatives will always need time, space, and a conducive environment in which to produce the best creative work. Therein lies a disparity? Maybe not. 

As agencies, we need to adopt our models and ways of working to create harmony with, rather than go up against, in-house teams. Do we need to have ultimate end to end control of a campaign? Not always. Front end strategy and fresh thinking at conceptual stage, ultimately packaged in a way that is designed for an in-house team to take through to final design and roll out. 

"We see a huge opportunity for creative agencies to establish themselves as the clients' 'strategic ideas partner' (rather than doers) and embrace the growth of internal creative teams that focus on what we do best - at the front end of every campaign."

Mandi Taylor, Agency Partner, SHARP

As Mother founder Libby Brockhoff recently reported in The Drum, it’s about working with in-house teams to recognise where each of us have strengths, kicking out egos and putting the emphasis on collaboration and close relationships to get a job done together.

Apparently some agencies fear the rise of such in-house competition. Not SHARP.

 


Vickie Cattan

Vickie Cattan

Strategy & New Business Manager