What Makes a Creative Agency Great – Agency Perspective

The big question

Today I’m asking “What makes an agency great from a creative technology perspective?” Over the past couple of months I’ve been researching - while managing an increasingly busy desk – into the key factors and opinions that constitute the makings of a technically advanced agency. “Interesting stuff”, I hear you thinking……! Well my findings have been rather enlightening!
Firstly, I think it’s important to mention here that there is still somewhat of a clear difference between the more traditional creatively-led advertising agencies who dabble in digital build, and the pure-play agencies who have grown in the online arena and who give birth to ideas from a digital perspective.  This alone plays a huge part in how an agency might go about planning a project; deciding which teams are involved at concept stage and how the project is finally delivered.

It may be thought that within a pure digital agency, technologists are placed at the forefront of the operation and play a key role from day one of the project; architecting a technically sound solution which focuses more on functionality rather than aesthetics.  Whilst on the other side of the fence at the big old ad agency, perhaps developers are less understood and cordoned off to a small smelly room somewhere in the basement only to be visited once in a while by a creative!

Changes are afoot

Fortunately, I think the days of the latter situation are somewhat over, and due to the immense growth and placement of digital media within our everyday lives, it seems agencies have finally begun to change their ways– adding more focus to their capabilities in digital build and hence paying more attention to the needs and views of their developers. Of course this all relies on a top- down collaborative approach from senior management who have the gravitas to influence the way an agency thinks and acts throughout its hierarchical layers. Where the digital thought leadership is lacking, we are increasingly seeing traditional agencies bolstering their offering with hire of a seasoned Digital Director in a frantic dash to make sure it’s offering is as current and relevant to its clients needs as possible.

So this is my view of ‘What makes an agency great from a creative technology perspective” – which in short translates to invest in the management structure (in terms of technical understanding) and in education so that the whole agency understands that a development team adds to the creative execution and are not just coders. With education and management figureheads representing their teams, your agency will be one that the best Creative Technologists, Developers and others will clamour to work for!