Creative agencies have become more popular over the last few years. When people ask me what I do for a living, my response is “I do marketing for a creative agency.” Often, people take this response with their eyes slightly squinted, head tilted to the side, nodding respectfully with “Ahh very interesting!” I smile, nod and wait for the next question I already know is coming, “So what is it you do exactly?”
Creative agencies have an air of mystery around them. After all, the term is very vague. Creative agency. What does that even mean? On the web, there’s no defined meaning of what a creative agency does. From my own personal experience and through several related blog posts, I’ve found that a creative agency combines strategy, design, marketing, and digital services to create content that satisfies the problems, needs or goals of a client.
For example, if a client approaches a creative agency with the goal of increasing brand awareness, the agency will develop marketing and design strategies to best accomplish the client’s goal. Many creative agencies are full-service, meaning they will solve your problem and create the solution from start to finish.
Sounds like an all-in-one deal, right? Indeed it is. Where do marketing agencies fit into this? From marketing.com, the definition of marketing is “an agency that handles all aspects of the advertising process, including planning, design, production, and placement.” The secret here is that marketing agencies tend to outsource production to creative agencies or video production companies, positioning themselves as the middle-man.
Then arrives millennials. Born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s, millennials grew up in the digital age. They have been surrounded by tech and have experienced digital platforms their entire lives. Now millennials are opening up their own marketing shops and calling them creative agencies.
More traditional marketing agencies have struggled to keep up with millennials because marketing isn’t something millennials have necessarily had to learn. It’s their reality. Millennials are the first generation to be entirely absorbed into the digital world. They market themselves every day, all day through their own social media accounts. It’s no wonder an entirely new wave of agencies are on the rise.
Traditional marketing agencies need to keep a close eye on these fresh creative agencies because these strategic, tech-savvy creatives are positioning themselves as the modern approach to marketing. As of now, marketing agencies provide the client with a traditional marketing mix including a public relations strategy, a communication strategy, a promotions strategy and more. These strategies often come in the form of lengthy documents.
It is my opinion that creative agencies will stray away from these lengthy documents because they are daunting, difficult for the client to implement and not necessarily more effective. Herein lies the opportunity for creative agencies to evolve into a new hybrid. The content they’re creating is designed so precisely that the audience is not aware they are being marketed to. This innovating marketing practice is not only proving to be more effective, it’s also giving traditional marketers a run for their money.
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