[BLACK WOLF AGENCY] Since before the global pandemic, the creative agency sector has been battling with technological advancements, largely driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Businesses in the space have shifted strategic focus towards achieving best-in-class results that are more measurable with the technological tools now at hand.
Spurred on by Covid-19, Black Wolf Agency, a full-service digital marketing agency, has recognised that measurable results cannot solely rely on technology. Instead, to truly achieve impactful results, agencies should look to the challenges and opportunities it presented.
There is a growing need for digital marketing specialists and generalists, with demand far outstripping current supply. And as budgets have decreased across the board, freelance consultants can reap the benefits. Those looking for more remote and hybrid ways of working, and have the necessary skills, will find partnership opportunities abound.
The skills shortage challenge has created an opportunity for businesses with smaller cash flows to leverage outsourced talent. Hiring freelance consultants can be a great risk mitigation strategy, but only where it makes sense. For example, making the case for product diversification is easier when the cost to company is not on a full-time basis and can save the agency in the long term should a product need to be decommissioned.
This further plays into another challenge: the need for diverse offerings. Growing an agency’s offering to accommodate real business needs requires careful consideration, including whether it will impact the agency’s brand identity, or be sustainable in the long term. Agencies are finding that clients are keen to explore digital transformation, opting to either leave their current agencies or pivoting completely. This presents a conundrum, specifically as to whether or not to invest in new offerings, including the necessary training and manpower.
Again, outsourcing to a specialist at the outset could be an agency’s saving grace. However, it also places the agency on the back foot as the client could bypass the agency completely in lieu of better rates and the knowledge the consultant holds. In this case I suggest bringing a consultant on board for a set period of time where they are able to provide knowledge transfer and skills training to full-time staff. This presents an opportunity of regular work for the consultant while allowing the agency to gain multidisciplinary capabilities that can be carried into other projects.
Given the ever-changing nature of the media landscape, agencies would be well-placed to embrace these developments in order to produce work that is not only to a global standard but can compete more efficiently within the sector while encouraging sustainable business growth.
~ Sven Wolf, founder and managing director of Black Wolf Agency
This story first appeared in The Media’s agency issue. Click on the cover below to read.