This week I visited the Design+Banter event happening at Facebook’s London office and I really enjoyed myself. One of the discussed topics was whether or not is the agency dead when nowadays you meet freelancers or young progressive start-up on every corner. The truth is, I hadn’t thought about that until this moment and I’ve really woken up now. The market has changed and we need to think differently.
Years ago, agencies played the role of the hub. I remember how everyone tried to be a full-service agency, contracting artists from all possible fields. It was basically the purpose of the agency, to connect skilled people with clients. The offering menu looked accordingly – website design, website coding, managing PPC, SEO optimisation, etc.. What I’m trying to say is, each service was offered and executed standalone, like when you shop with shopping list, not thinking about the recipe needed to cook. Basically, you did not need to understand the online business since you were able to connect these people. And it worked. Sort of.
However, since the internet has reached every single part of our life, everything has changed. Now everyone can have a website and offer whatever services. Finding a freelancer for your job is super easy, and therefore their number grows and you can find them even offline on the way for your morning coffee. You don’t need agency or even freelancer to build your website or e-shop anymore. Just use some of the many online tools with a professional template and you are setup for super fine price.
So, are agencies dead? Not necessary. We need to understand that the purpose of our existence has developed. The agency is not just a hub anymore and we need to offer something more. Team collaboration, knowledge exchange and analytical thinking are the answer. Modern agencies need to create an environment where people naturally share their experience and knowledge with others. The environment where everyone understands the whole story of the business and not just the isolated part, where everyone is driven by others and together create unique professional agency know-how.
Agencies are going to become a luxury good in the near future and we need to understand where our value is.