Digiday asked a bunch of agency executives, “What’s the Biggest Challenge Facing Agencies?” The responses are as questionable as the respondents. Jonah Bloom is a decent bloke, but he ultimately proves that even a trade journalist with a European accent has a better chance of landing an agency gig than a minority. Plus, Bloom’s shop—kbs+—is hardly an agency worth emulating. Much worse is John Winsor’s Victors & Spoils, which has yet to prove itself a viable business model. With 70 employees in Los Angeles, Huge doesn’t exactly live up to its name. As for Iris and Mediasmith, well, never heard of them. All of which makes the Digiday feature irrelevant and pointless.
Jonah Bloom, chief strategy officer, kbs+
If you want to be relevant as a brand today, in culture you have to be able to respond to culture, and that requires incredibly quick turnover, and I think that’s difficult for agencies and more than it’s difficult for agencies it’s difficult for brands.
Sarah Aitken, managing director, Iris
How to bring clients along with that faster pace in terms of really understanding what are the business results on the fly, being able to optimize, being able to create new and exciting content in a fast and relevant way.
John Winsor, chief innovation officer, Havas/CEO, Victor & Spoils
The digitization of the world and the fact that open systems are taking over in every creative industry. Agencies are typically closed systems that are being challenged by open systems and an open way of doing things.
Patricia Korth-McDonnel, partner and managing director, Huge Los Angeles
Finding talent is always the classic agency refrain, but right now it’s keeping it from startups and technology companies that are targeting us as a source of great designers.
David Smith, founder, Mediasmith
The new challenge is really understanding the technologies and how to integrate the technologies into client solutions. So agencies in effect are becoming systems integrators to some degree, and hiring the right people to evaluate the technologies and deploying the right technologies for your clients is a big challenge.