You know what they say about the advertising industry– the only constant is that it’s constantly changing. Here at ANDERSON, we have a president who has witnessed the evolution of agency structure over the years. Between shifts in technology and ever-changing client needs, Ted Anderson has seen it all. We took a moment to bend Ted’s ear on how to keep up with such a fast-paced industry.
Q: What is the norm for agency structure?
With the ever-changing landscape of our industry, I’ve found that there is no single “right” way to structure an agency. It all depends on the needs of your clients and how you approach those needs.
Q: How have advertising agencies changed over time?
One of the biggest changes I’ve experienced is the consolidation of agencies in the age of the internet. Before the web, local agencies were essential to make newspaper ad deadlines, but with this new technology, files could be easily transmitted via the internet. Because of this, local agencies were no longer as necessary and many consolidated into hubs in cities like New York and L.A.
Q: What challenges arise with the need to constantly adapt?
One of the more difficult challenges is keeping up with how quickly client needs are changing. It’s all facilitated by the digital world and how quickly information is accessible these days. This is particularly relevant to the advancements in reporting because at the end of the day, you always need to maintain your ability to tell a story to your clients.
Q: In general, are agencies trying to be everything to everyone, or are they specializing in one thing?
It depends very much on the agency. When I started back in the Mad Men days, agencies did it all. As we moved into the digital age, the shift toward more specialized companies became more prevalent. The agency that I was at in the 80s did all their own media buying, but by the 90s, outside specialized media companies took it all at a lower cost. The trend to be specialized versus fully integrated is always shifting to match the climate of the industry.
Q: How does our agency structure benefit our clients?
ANDERSON’s ability to work collaboratively gives us a nimbleness and responsiveness that other agencies cannot match. We can be faster, smarter and cheaper by not being super top heavy. The integration of top leadership as a part of the team prevents any disconnect where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The fluidity of our team brings a higher level of efficiency everyday to best serve our clients.