Being a marketer in today’s world can be daunting. New challenges abound, and the only thing we can expect is the unexpected. This has informed a shift in our industry to focus on agility more than we ever have before – to be relevant and reactive in communicating brand messaging using topical opportunities while balancing the broader, more brand-driven campaigns.
And just as ‘agility’ has become a recurring theme in meetings, so too arises the question of how best to achieve this consistently, as well as who is best for the job? This is, I believe, where indie shops come into the mix.
It goes without saying that there are many independent agencies with strong creative talent who are more than qualified to solve big brand briefs, and give global shops a run for their retainers. This is because independent agencies of today are built with agility in mind: without the legacy systems and lengthy processes of their larger competitors, their ability to respond to culture in real-time is becoming very attractive.
Answering how indie shops are more primed for agility over their global holding company contemporaries can be answered by unpacking their core strengths in this current landscape.
Indie shops are agile by design
As brands continue to face new challenges when it comes to cutting through the clutter to engage their audiences, the need for agility in communications has become paramount.
And where clients need proactive and innovative thinking with speed, a new breed of indie shops is well positioned to succeed in this space due to leaner, more efficient operations over lengthy processes.
While not all solutions will be optimal, adapting over time is a much easier feat for an independent given that decision making lies solely with key stakeholders over their global counterparts where operational changes are a much lengthier process.
Indie shops succeed when their clients do
The innate entrepreneurial spirit of independents means they will have a vested interest in ensuring that their clients succeed, knowing that the success or failure of the agency is intertwined with that of their clients.
Being independent allows for the kind of calculated risks and creating new kinds of solutions that some global agencies may not be able to do. They’re focused on bringing real value in all that they do for their clients, relying on strong collaborative relationships to ensure that these creative partnerships prosper.
Indie shops are attracting the talent that clients want to work with
The calibre of South Africa’s creative talent is world class, and it is home to many exceptionally strong independent agencies. This new breed of indie shop has the strong foundation of great talent (both younger and more experienced) to service clients’ modern problems as well as streamlined processes to save time and be more reactive.
Younger talent in particular want to be a part of a personalized working space in which they can find a sense of community and purpose with their colleagues. Independents have the advantage of making more of these bespoke hybrid working options available whilst building a more purpose driven work community.
Ultimately, in the age of agility, brands need to go beyond just having their finger on the pulse of culture. They need to have a hand in cultivating and crafting it by being an active stakeholder in these key conversations.
This requires both the speed to respond when both opportunities and problems arise, and the ability to hone on the clarity necessary to make truly crafted creative solutions.
Indie shops are primed to solve these problems with the most efficiency. They’re built for it, have more skin in the game and attract the right kind of talent to make the work that really works.
As the marketing landscape continues to evolve towards prioritising agility, the indie shops are leading the pack. Time will tell who will win the race.
Jordan Major is a senior strategist and writer who believes in the power of collaborating with culture to connect brands to their customers. In his role at RAPT Creative he works alongside the creative studio to ensure all work is informed by insights and data to ensure that the work is executed holistically in unique territories and across the relevant channels.
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to email@example.com.