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    After 14 years at advertising and media agencies, and 4 years at Levi Strauss EMEA, Paul set up citizenbay in 2004 to help shake things up in marketing within organisations. We help organisations improve internal relationships (sales/marketing/finance/production), external relationships (content supplier/agency/media owner/client) and their communications strategies. From boardrooms to young talent, we help foster greater curiosity through workshops, internal conferences, one-on-one coaching, and interactive online services - curiosity breeds ideas. Clients include: Sony Music Europe, Samsung, BBC World, K-Swiss, Discovery Networks, The Economist, Twinings, start-ups and media, digital & creative agencies.
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    Paul writes a blog for left-handers when he finds some time...

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    « Monday Media Chat 15: The Media Agency of the Future | Main | Monday Media Chat 17: What is the Role of the client Media Director? »

    09/28/2010

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    Tom Denford IDCOMMS

    Hi Paul / Bernhard (and Jan). To me the question needs to be more specific because as it stands the BIG agency of the future may be very different to the SMALL agency of the future. Therefore if you ask that question to a CEO of networks of the calibre of Steve and Mike you'd expect them to say "The future looks just like my very big agency but better..."
    As we know, a big network-agency (like any big global company) has its network dysfunctions and as Jan says, they'll always tend to be slightly slower to adapt because of their scale. Thus if you're asking what the agency of the future will look like, I can predict one thing. The agency model of the future will not be invented by a large network. It will be dreamed, incubated and tested by small agencies more able to experiment. And there's lots of experimenting going on out here in little agency land. Lots.
    But what of network agencies? They will implement and drive the new models because of their greater scale and resources. Of course I think IDCOMMS is the model of the future, I'll send you our new creds, if anyone wants to see them let me know - they're not on our website yet.
    The agency of the future is then a collaborative dance between the dynamic small agencies innovating and experimenting and the big agencies stress testing them at a global level. We need each other to be able to succeed in the future, lets keep listening.

    citizenbay

    Jan

    What a fantastic opening comment! There is so much within your comment that is worthy of future discussion, so I will give myself a little time to respond in depth.

    Needless to say, I am sure others will be inspired to follow your great lead.

    Best as always

    Paul Bay

    Jan

    Nice piece, thanks for this.

    I've had some thougths and decided to part with them - hope you don't mind.

    A starting point in its own right: what is the client or industry need of the future which requires the continued existence of agencies? And subsequently, what do these need to deliver?
    Beyond the changes in media landscape, technology, consumer behaviour and eventually the agency model, I find it hard to believe that advertisers will not change, too - and many of them already have. Are we paying enough attention? I think we're trying, but making sense of an accelerated and cluttered marketplace is a challenge which not only our clients are facing.
    What seems certain to me is that the convergence of and communciation on evolving and emerging consumer/customer platforms has seen the speed with which advertisers now can adapt, increase significantly. Conventional wisdom (and a couple of studies) dictate that Technology clients may be quicker to adapt than large FMCG Multinationals, but the race is still on between speed-of-response and impact-of-scale. At least it's hard to find evidence to the contrary.

    Steve King and Mike Coooper will attest when looking at staffing questions: as soon as advertisers embrace a different way of structuring their resources and organising their comms, particularly big agencies tend to struggle to follow quickly as decisions take longer. Subsequently smaller, more nimble agencies may find that their time of success has come (social activation, content production, platform consultancy, etc.). Possibly to stay. By the same token, this changed landscape has also provided network agencies with a different but new set of opportunties which only they will be able to exploit, e.g. new audience/user buying models, etc.

    The result is a fragmented market in which advertisers pick'n'mix solutions more than they do even now - human beings make this business work, and 'networking' must remain or become fundamental to the work ethic of network agencies.

    To that end, it's impossible to disagree with Mike Cooper regarding the increased specialisation - and leveraging scale for e.g. data housing and mining or business analytics etc. are areas which the big holding companies are all over 'already'.

    How do agencies remain commercially viable operations within this totally fluid environment? Clients and agencies are, or should be, partners - and in the agency/client equation, not only do the individual parts of the equation evolve, but so does the essence of the overall relationship.
    Queue the money question.

    Back to basics is easier said than done, and I'm not sure we can simplify a complex world.
    Here's an attempt that's doomed to fail: as communications experts, why don't we start by preparing our response to two fairly big questions, and then act accordingly:
    a) What experiences do we want as consumers?
    b) What would we do if we were advertisers?

    Longest comment I ever wrote, but there's some rich pickings if you want to engage.

    Cheers,
    J

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    About Bernhard Glock

    • Bernhard Glock Media
      Bernhard Glock recently set up Bernhard Glock Media Leadership Company LLC, providing strategic media consultancy and business development advice to advertisers, agencies, broadcasters and associations. Bernhard is a P&G veteran with 24 years experience, finishing as VP Global Media and Communications and VP Media Purchases.

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