2015 & The Challenges Ahead: Patent Trolls, Confused Clients and Baffled Agency Brands
Tony Quin, Chairman of the Board, SoDA, The Digital Society looks back on a year that saw clients wise up to agency claims and demand greater strategic insight. And, as the gap between integrated all-rounders and A-class specialists grows, Quin also argues that as we move into 2015 the middle ground is growing increasingly precarious. What's more, increased competition and the proliferation of agency capabilities means that 2015 is likely to be characterized by competition and confusion.
What we've learned in 2014?
We’ve learned that our part of the digital world is an increasingly competitive and challenging environment. I believe that agencies that service clients need to either be best-of-breed in a very narrow discipline or be able to offer clients comprehensive services. The former is great if you are at the top of your heap. The latter is great if you can field all the services necessary for your client. Being in the middle, however, is an increasingly tough nut to crack.
What have been the key game changers for digital agencies and production companies in 2014?
As the business has evolved it has become more sophisticated. Agencies have found that clients know more and are more demanding that their agency not only do great creative and technology, but also that the agency helps them ensure they are doing the right things in the first place. This has made strategy of all types increasingly vital within agencies.
Looking forward to 2015, what does the industry need next year?
Digital agencies and creative companies still need a patent system that protects them and their clients from predatory patent trolls.
What are the key changes we will see industry-wide next year?
More opportunities as digital becomes critical to the consumer lifecycle of more companies. More competition world-wide and increasing globalization. More client confusion about agency claims and capabilities. More difficulty for agencies in differentiating their brand. Commoditization of many agency services.