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A Shout Out To My Full-Service Agency Brethren

By Jenn Bollman

At this point, I think I could be considered an agency lifer (except that one year client side slip up, but I digress). I’ve worked for a lot of full service agencies, and I’ve worked with a lot of single service agencies.

And I must say, the amazing work that comes from all disciplines working hand in hand at a full service agency is really unbeatable.

Our consumers don’t experience advertising in silos. They don’t separately see the brand strategy, the creative or the media. So how are we able to create the best outcome without making all these elements work together?

You might argue that a big media agency will make the best media plan or that a creative only shop will produce the best ads. You might be right on the surface, but will the campaign have the biggest overall impact as a campaign?

Will a media plan that isn’t built in tandem with creative not only reach the right audiences efficiently, but in the way that ensures the creative really comes to life in the media in which it is placed?

Will creative built without media in mind make the biggest impact it can? And what amazing partnerships are being missed when you aren’t searching for opportunities that bring all marketing channels to life?

The best campaigns come from all disciplines combining forces from the moment a client assigns the project. The strategic planner’s insights about what makes our potential consumers tick are extremely helpful to the creative who is trying to land an idea, as well as the comms/media lead who is sketching out the comms plan.

Media has some of the most powerful consumer insights tools to help really understand the target audience, which helps bolster strategy and better inform the creative team on who they are trying to communicate with.

The creative team’s approach helps the media team understand where the messaging will best resonate. The power that comes from this cross-discipline integration is integral to making successful campaigns that truly impact consumers.

Take our work for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Resort in North Carolina for example. We’ve been able to make the dollars go farther and work harder because strategy, media and creative have all worked together in producing a successful campaign.

Social media and public relations have built on that campaign to add their own magic within the theme, and the results have been a beautiful thing to behold.

More visits, more players, more hotel nights, more food and beverage sold – it has all added up nicely with this integrated plan and approach.

As a strong believer that the sum of the advertising parts are far less than that of the whole, that cross pollination is vital, I am now and will always be a fan of the full service agency.