There was a kerfuffle among creative agencies a couple of weeks ago – or at least amongst those who had seen the disparaging video from Immaculate Contraption, which takes apart all those differing agency roles.
Take-out: you just don’t need the varying agency roles that agencies retain in-house to make brilliant films (read: or other effective creative content).
To quote Immaculate Contraption: bypass all the bullshit.
Here’s an article with the video embedded– explaining what all those people in an agency do (or don’t do).
Now, I’ve enjoyed those ‘how many art directors does it take..’ type of posts over the years and the Hovering Art Directors blog.
Like all good comedy there’s a truth in it.
But two heads can truly be better than one, particularly if they have different skills and experience.
Everyone in an agency has to earn their keep and that means retaining clients by being excellent at what they do and adding value. And ‘being billable’ has to be justified – which agencies, clients (marketing and procurement) are well aware of.
That said, it is hard sometimes to justify to a client why you need a particular person on their account or project.
‘Who ARE all these people and their differing agency roles?!’
I’ve been in many a meeting where the client team questions having two or more developers on the project or the need for an art director when there’s already a designer involved.
And it’s not just client world that can sometimes dismiss a role as superfluous.
Who needs account handlers?
Some agencies have struggled with (for example) the need to have account handlers:
“surely the creative or tech guys can deal direct with the clients and offer strategy, planning, project management etc as well as ideas and execution?”
Nope. Big mistake. I cover that off here in why you need an account handler.
So if your clients feel that there are too many people are working on their project / account, maybe you need to explain what they all do.
That was my thinking when I started to ask agency folk what their role was about and explain why the client should pay for them.
It’s a series I’m currently adding to.
1. Featured image > Design Studio by Peter Vermaercke on Flickr.
1. Vancouver Film School on Flickr.