The Blueprint has announced the launch of a dedicated service for Advertising, PR and Communications agencies called Business Design. The new service, which sits alongside the Talent Search offer, sets out a clear methodology to enable management teams to re-examine the agency's strategic direction.
The process involves re-architecting agency structures, teams, processes, cultures and capabilities. Business Design will enable agencies to focus on five key pillars of change:
• Proposition - how and where does the agency fit in the context not of just competition but in the eyes of the brand owners
• Culture - can the agency embrace more open, collaborative cultures? Is it set up to meet the needs of a new entrepreneurial generation who demand a blended approach to work and life?
• Process - if the old service and creative processes are not relevant how can new ones be tested and implemented without too much disruption?
• Capabilities - underpinning of your offering, how can you deliver the plethora of new creative and digital services and have you got the right talent to see this through?
• People – attracting and retaining the best talent has just become one of the toughest agency challenges. The success of which is driven in part by the four other pillars.
The Business Design process help to address the disruption and flux many agencies are battling. The change factors are many; from the 'traditional' consulting firms, extending their boardroom influence into creative and digital offerings right through to new agencies with challenging business models gaining momentum.
"The launch of Business Design is a true reflection of the times we live in the creative agency landscape,” said, Gareth Moss. Adding: "Whether your measure of agency success is winning awards, sustaining margins, retaining and attracting the best talent, securing the right type of work or simply growth, one thing is clear; the new landscape - post 2008 - is tough, complex and not about to 'return to the good ol’ days’."
Other influences include the ongoing skills drain and up-skilling within brands meaning agency relationship briefs have to change, compounded by the lines between disciplines which were once blurred, are now erasing. These are the realities of the new agency landscape, these are the challenges faced by CEOs and agency management every day.
Moss concluded: "The impact and signs of these changes run deep; from reduced profit margins, revenue having to be derived from new sources, to a more global and competitive market. How can advertising, marketing, digital and communications agencies remain relevant? Where will brands place their trust? What is the future for groups versus independents versus networks versus management consultants or even Google? What's the future for creativity, for nurturing talent for remaining relevant for creating a culture relevant for next generations? The challenges may sound great but the opportunities for agencies able to adapt are greater."
Led by The Blueprint, managing partner, Gareth Moss, The Business Design team will see two new strategic partners:
• Clyde McKendrick is a strategic partner for the Business Design team. He is recognised as one of the world’s leading strategists, having held executive leadership roles with top creative advertising and digital agencies working in both Los Angeles and his native London. Clyde is an industry thought leader, speaker and writer. He has contributed articles on strategy for titles including: Ad Age, Mashable and Fast Company.
• As strategic partner advising communications agencies, Paul Doran, is known as a pioneer of agency change, setting up his first agency network in 2006. Over 18 years in the industry at a mix of large and small agency environments, he has advised, guided and mentored a number of agencies and tech-start up businesses, all of which influenced his thinking. Paul sits on the PRCA Council and is a Google Launchpad mentor.