Future of Brand, Marketing and Advertising Agencies

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* Patrick Dixon has advised many of the largest multinationals on a wide range of customer trends and brand / marketing-related issues.

Expect large multi-nationals to spend up to 500 million dollars each on global re-branding over the next 15 years, to refresh their image, and the value of the largest advertising accounts will soar.

Despite this boom in big marketing projects, traditional agencies will come under threat, and will need to develop new models - not only to keep pace with multi-channel marketing and social media, but also in the way they structure their contracts and fees.

In the past their creative genius was free or was charged at a relatively low rate, and clients were then charged extra for implementation with commissions on print, advertising bills and so on.

But in an online age, the roll-out of new campaigns can be free – as for example in the case of a clever e-mail video clip, which 200 million people copy to their friends.

Expect, therefore, a re-think about how advertising agencies earn their money, with a move to charge more for the initial ideas instead.

However, agencies will find it challenging when they have to prove an idea was original. And anyway, who had the idea first?

Agencies often develop ideas in discussions with clients, and clients in future may argue that some or all of the idea came from their own people in a brain-storming session with the agency.

The real ‘added value’ may therefore be stretching a previous idea that the client had already generated, but how do you charge for that?

Some agencies will attempt to move to more of a brand or campaign consulting model, but in all this, the end result will be consolidation amongst larger advertising agencies and rapid growth of freelance consultants, and proliferation of boutique specialist agencies, especially for things like viral marketing and use of social media.

* Adapted from Futurewise book - one of 16 books by Patrick Dixon on global trends.



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