Are Agency-Industry Conflicts Fading Away?
During a prospective client’s agency vetting process, the question sometimes comes up – “Are you working with any other (insert industry) clients?” The way I see it, people ask this question for different reasons…
Are you already working with one of my main competitors?
Do you already know my industry, the target audience I’m trying to reach and what they care about? (Translation: Will I have to spend a lot of time getting you up to speed?)
As an agency that has several industry focus areas (banking, higher education, utilities, sports and entertainment and healthcare), we think that the benefits of industry knowledge outweigh any concern about competitive conflicts for most clients. The evidence: we win more work because of our expertise in certain industries than any other factor – even in industries where we already have several clients.
Years ago, there seemed to be more concern over agency competitive conflicts than there is now. Why the shift?
Perhaps there’s a realization that everyone is competing in at least a regional and sometimes global marketplace, both literally and figuratively. Competition is everywhere. If you’re an entertainment venue, you’re competing against Netflix and even the backyard. If you’re a bank, you’re not only competing against fintech, but you’re also competing against Google, Apple and Amazon.
Perhaps it’s also because of the proliferation of industry-specific agencies (bank agencies, higher education agencies, etc.) who pick an industry and go all in. Specialized agencies are fairly commonplace in some industries, but while Borshoff has several industry concentrations, we like to think that our secret sauce is our ability to connect target audience insights across industries. How can we apply mindsets and habits of the higher education target audience to how Gen Y views banking?
How do we approach industry density to protect sensitive client information? We assemble separate agency teams for clients in the same industry. This means that if you’re a utility client, you won’t get the same strategy as another client, nor will we recycle a creative concept that our other utility client didn’t bite on. The larger benefit is an agency that already knows the industry and can begin execution much more quickly.
Contact us to learn more about our areas of expertise or industry insights that could benefit your business.