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3 myths that agencies carry in their backpack


When it comes to approaching agencies, brands do so weighed down by many myths that cloud their perception of who their partners should be.

Agencies and advertisers are impeccable partners and as such their relationship should be founded on mutual trust.. However, when it comes to approaching agencies, brands do so weighed down by many myths that cloud their perception of who their partners should be.

In an article for MarketingDive Bruno Gralpois dissects 4 myths about agencies that urgently be eradicated as soon as possible:

1. Agencies are expensive

Many advertisers complain that the agencies are excessively expensive, but the truth is that such a bitter regret is far from being corroborated by the constant and sound data.

In fact, the profit margins of advertising holdings such as WPP, Omnicom or Interpublic have started downhill in recent years (even sliding into the red as a result of the pandemic).

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Agency margins are actually quite low compared to their clients’ profit margins and rarely go beyond 10% (at least over the past five years).

When brands decide to contract the services of a certain agency, they must put aside their preconceived and inevitably subjective ideas and assess their partner’s fees in the most objective way possible (requesting documentation if necessary).

It is also advisable to compare the fees of both agencies and ask the agency in question for explanations if their rates show a significant gap with respect to the competition. It is a matter of dialogue with the agencies, not of assuming orphan ideas often of all foundations.

2. Agencies are mere service providers

Agencies are part of the advertisers’ supply chain. However, the nature of their work gives them a unique status within organizations.

The ties that bind agencies and advertisers go far beyond an exchange of pure and hard value and transcends the border of commercial and financial considerations.

After all, agencies rarely agree to work with a brand that doesn’t inspire enough passion.

Agencies are not simply service providers. The intimate relationship that agencies forge with brands must necessarily be unique to rise to the top of success.

And the impact their work has on advertisers’ marketing and sales strategies is absolutely colossal as well, all the more reason for not treating agencies as mere service providers.

3. Agencies are orphans of structure and rigor

Creativity is the particular raw material of agencies and those who move like a fish in water in the ocean of creativity tend to flee from excessively rigid structures. Added to this is the fact that the “indie” agencies, increasingly in vogue, display a high dose of agility and flexibility in their working methods (largely unrelated to structures in their most classical aspect).

However, this does not mean that the agencies can be accused of being at odds with structure and rigor. Modern agencies are multidisciplinary in nature and are heavily indebted to technology. And the complexity of its operations is largely indebted to the precision of the processes (necessarily designed to the millimeter).

Let us not confuse the agility and adaptability of agencies with confusion and disorganization. Agency structures may be (by force) more flexible than their clients, but that does not make them less trustworthy.

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