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collaboration… the beginning of beautiful friendships

Last year, we were asked how we thought the advertising industry is changing, by creative marketing and media magazine The Drum. Our answer was based on something that’s very close to our hearts. The biggest change we’ve seen, is the opening up of opportunities for collaborative working between agencies of all kinds.

Collaborative working between agencies isn’t a new idea. Incumbent agencies have always been encouraged to work together by a shared client to maximise campaign integration. Brands operating internationally have long been aware of the benefits of their various creative agencies working collaboratively in order to promote global campaign integration, and to get the best out of the people working for them. This is collaboration in the traditional sense, and it’s a major part of advertising in a global age.

The difference between this traditional sense of collaboration, and the idea we’ve been formulating and starting to see around us, is that working together dosen’t have to be something a that’s enforced; it can be something we actively seek. If worldwide brands such as McDonalds, Coca Cola and Blackberry see benefits from collaborative working, then couldn’t agencies collaborate in the first place, picking and choosing partners in order to attract clients of this calibre.

This isn’t about democracy, so it takes a bit of trust and requires the agencies in question to be geared towards working to their strengths. But as the industry streamlines, it’s a situation we are coming across more and more.

When done well, collaborative working can also be a proposition that’s as attractive for a client, if not more so, than entrusting themselves to a single full service agency. With a lead agency looking after the client contact and logistics, and specialist agencies brought in to contribute their skills and expertise, as required by the client or project, the end results have the potential to be spectacular.

These can be exciting times. Exciting for agencies who need to deliver over and above their clients expectations, and exciting for clients who will ultimately reap the benefits of collaborative working.

If all that doesn’t convince you that collaborative working can be a good idea, then have a read of this.

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