Three actions Strategists can take to keep their agency competitive

In the report What Clients Want, 30 top marketers were asked: What are you asking for now that you were not asking for 5 years ago?

The summary of the report was that clients have more work to give than ever before but, the days of the one off big budget campaign and Agency of Record relationships are done. Agencies need to get out of their astronaut suits that they have been wearing for the last 20 years and start to move to get that work.

There are three actions that planners can take today to help agencies get there.


Project work is the new meal of the day and it’s going to the agencies that are hungry and fast enough to track it down.

Planners need to take on a business development role and help chase down incremental work. e.g.: use your post reports as new business invitations, take away the barriers of planner-account-client and foster closer relationships with clients to sense opportunities.


If we’re asking the rest of the agency to work in new ways, we need to make sure we’re willing to do it too. How are we tweaking the planning process? Could we be gathering insights in new ways? E.g.: Creating WhatsApp focus groups for clients, can we do sprints to get to briefs instead of going away for three weeks?


Integrated work was one of the biggest sticking points. Planners need to step up and help with coordination around integrated campaigns. Dive head first into the messy business of interagency politics. Having a better understanding of diplomacy and tools like Blueprints will help you navigate these foreign waters.

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and be the dirty planner that clients need.

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