There is a certain irony that in the quest to simplify the marketing process for their clients, many agencies have over complicated things for themselves.
As more agencies look to provide a full-service offering, and brands increasingly experiment with in-housing, the question of whether they have the capabilities persists.
As with anything that requires a degree of experience, these things are always harder than they look.
In-housing can work if the brand brings in a team of creative and media experts. Full-service is certainly feasible if one agency acquires another, combining their expertise to include the requisite skills under one roof. But employing a graduate to buy your media, armed with a few log-ins and a copy of the Radio Times, will never end well.
The UK media market is continually evolving, impacting every link in the chain. Client, supplier and agency models are being endlessly tweaked and played around with in the eternal quest for the most cost-efficient way of working. But at what cost?
Many smaller agencies are finding the challenge of providing clients with a full-service offering – inclusive of market-leading research, strategic insight, optimised and flexible planning conditions and competitive buying in both a simplified and transparent form – an increasingly difficult task to deliver.
And that’s before you add into that complex mix the ever-present competition posed by the network behemoths.
But it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing arrangement. By outsourcing the media buying to a partner that has an abundance of skills, experience and connections, the cycle can be completed without introducing a weak link into the process.
Independent media agencies offer a unique way of working that larger businesses simply cannot provide. The agility, flexibility and responsiveness of a smaller agency is in total contrast to the long-term deals and pre-agreed trading arrangements many larger agencies have with media owners.
Large scale trading deals like those favoured by the networks typically benefit no one beyond the two parties directly involved, namely the media owner and the agency.
This way of working has been around for far too long and it is high time it was challenged once and for all. And we are confident we’re in a position to do just that. The number of young businesses around today shows there is a market for the agile trading conditions that only independents can provide, combined with competitive pricing. Because the old adage “buy cheap, buy twice” also applies to ad spend.
By consolidating independent media agency billings and sector types across the performance media space, we can deliver optimum value for all our clients. The more billings we can consolidate, the more leverage we gain to secure market leading rates for all parties involved. Therefore changing the status quo for the better.
For some time, The Kite Factory has been offering a buying service for a handful of businesses who specialise in a different area of the industry but want to take advantage of top-notch investment services. Through our dedicated investment team, they can seamlessly complete the full-service circle without any dip in the quality of their offering.
Such is the success of this arrangement that we are rolling out the offering more widely – to media or marketing agencies, creative agencies or even clients direct.
As an independent media agency we offer everything from unrivalled flexibility – inclusive of booking extensions – and station level planning to bespoke break creations and daily campaign optimisation. And everything we do is in line with our focus on measurement and driving performance. Just because our name isn’t over the door, doesn’t mean we care any less.
Forget off-the-shelf plans at rock bottom prices. If we’re to play our part in levelling out the playing field we must stay true to our commitment to delivering carefully crafted plans, competitively priced, with first class analysis and reactive optimisation.
So it turns out that, with the right help, you really can have it all.
By Jonathan Leech, Director of Investment.