As we look at the financial turmoils in the marketplace it often makes organizations take a look at how they can operate leaner in these tough economic times. In addition, in times of adversity often comes the most innovative solutions to age old problems.
So in that regard, I want to consider a possible change in the way current advertising and marketing agencies currently do business. When I had my old company Digital Metropolis, Inc. we used to say that we called the company Digital Metropolis as we were using the metaphor of a Digital City (yes, AOL had already registered the domain name ahead of us) and we brought in the writers, designers and programmers and with the new digital technologies everyone could work independently. This allowed everyone to use the “Hollywood” production methods used for years. Feature films bring together the best talent for a short period of time to work on a film and then they disband after the production is over.
There are obviously pros and cons to this.
- Low cost overhead – you only pay talent when you use them
- Bring in different talent for each job based on the need of the job
- Low cost overhead – you have lower overhead costs on infrastructure
- No need for a brick and mortar office buildng – or reduced size
- Low cost overhead – did I say this before – health and medical benefits for employees are low
- People have more freedom to do what they want to do without the headache of commuting.
Now some of these PROs are obviously from the owner’s perspective — but lets look at some of the CONs.
- You have to wonder what your sales force is actually selling – traditionally it is the talent of the agency — is it now the better value?
- Freelancers tend to work on multiple projects — and there is often a need to keep them focused on your deadlines and projects.
- Freelancers are often looking for a job — with health and medical benefits — as it is expensive to get — if you don’t have it.
- Communication between team members can sometimes be a problem, when you are dealing with people not in the office. You need to set up the infrastructure for the team to communicate as a whole. Virtual offices are good — but they only work when the entire process has been planned out.
Consider this posting to be a random conversation — that over time gets to be clearer.