The Dream Agency

I really enjoyed this bit from R/GA’s Barry Wacksman, in the article he wrote in AdAge a few days back. I enjoyed the whole piece, but this was my favorite portion:

If a client could build the dream agency today, what would it look like?

It would have a thorough understanding of how consumers think and feel, but also how they seek and make and share and transact. It would recognize that the lives of consumers have dramatically transformed in the past 10 years. In an era where Facebook has 350 million members and Google is the world’s most valuable media company, the idea that consumers lead increasingly digital lives isn’t debatable.

It wouldn’t be wedded to a specific craft such as TV or print. Nor would it only think about designing a website. It would do all of those things without bias toward any strategic or tactical solution.

This agency would have innovation at its core and the ability to craft campaigns to promote these innovations. But it would start with the innovation — not the other way around, as most traditional agencies reflexively deliver campaign ideas as the first step.

Data would be its guiding light. It would have the right people to mine the data, interpret it and, based on the results, provide direction on whether and how to proceed to achieve the best ROI.

It would produce things with efficiency and fidelity, recognizing that brilliant ideas can fall apart with poor execution (a bad user interface, for example). It would understand that clients have an unprecedented opportunity to deliver massive amounts of content via free media channels such as YouTube and Facebook, as well as owned media channels, such as their own websites, mobile apps and Twitter feeds.

Whichever agency gets to this state of Nirvana first is likely to be the most important strategic and creative partner for clients — even if it’s no longer called a “lead” agency. So, who will get there first?