Agency Value Proposition

How can agencies add more value?

As one bold agency leader said: “If you’re still receiving the briefs, it’s game over. You should be writing the briefs.”

A look at some of the award-winning work from Cannes Lions in 2019 illuminates how agencies can adapt and transform. Winners last year became innovation business partners, offering IaaS (innovation as a service) and acting as founders, incubators and even VCs. Winners like Area23’s See Sound and RBK Communication Stockholm’s DO Black are examples of work that came out of watertight agency/ start-up partnerships, proving that new working models are a business imperative.

Julia Goldin
Chief Marketing Officer,
on stage at Cannes Lions 2019)

“I think it’s really important for people to stay close to understanding their clients, stay close to consumers and stay close to the brands. That’s going to become more and more important. They also need to understand the purpose of the businesses in which they work and then come up with creative solutions.

"I think it’s less about being an expert, because I think with external agencies it’s more about creating the right networks and using the right partners versus trying to do everything internally. …Agencies need to be brave. They need to be brave to come up with the right solution for their client.”

Diego Scotti
Chief Marketing Officer,
(on stage at Cannes Lions 2019

“This over-reliance on data, efficiency and tonnage… it has created a crisis of confidence in agencies… what are agencies supposed to do? What is the mission of the agencies? Well, the mission is to come up with amazing ideas that drive the business. I encourage every agency to say… that’s your business.

"Don’t get confused. It’s not orchestrating plans, it’s not trying to make things more efficient. The day you stop bringing ideas that are aligned to the business, your business is over.”

Syl Saller
Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer,
(on stage at Cannes Lions 2019)

“I believe that great agencies will continue to thrive and evolve. For agencies, if you’re trying to lap last year’s numbers and do it with the same old structure, it’s really difficult and so the bind people are in is: to what extent can they zero base their thinking and start again?... There are agencies, who if they are not doing this already… really need to re-think their structural economics.”