Thanks to our supporter First Insights
Choose who you want in your party. Stock up on supplies. Determine your route. Brush up on your hunting skills. And wonder how long it’ll be until you get hit with dysentery.
If you do, try not to die. And if you die, decide if you want to do it all over again.
That may sound like one of the best computer games ever, but it also describes the approach to agencies happening now.
I don’t think traditional agency models are dead. As hard as it can be to keep track of any agency’s name these days, many holding companies are doing just fine, and some are thriving, while a slew of enduring boutique, mid-size, and larger indie shops continue to adapt to serve clients’ needs. The big consulting firms add to the variety of approaches serving enterprise brands.
But these days, as more agency and consulting firm execs head out on their own, it has led to greater variety than ever in terms of what agencies look like.
That’s true across creative, media, PR, and other kinds of shops. I’ve been talking to a lot of friends and new acquaintances about their models, and there are so many different approaches that all make so much sense for the right clients.
It’s especially timely to bring this up this week as my friend Dave Weinberg launched FAIL, a creative approach with a provocative name. Dave and I brainstormed some ideas about this over the past couple of months, and I’m astounded by what he wound up building so quickly.
Below are some of the models I’ve come across lately. Some are brand new, while others rolled out over the past decade or so. They might win a bit of business here and there from a client previously with a traditional shop, but largely they’re additive and providing alternative forms of value to clients whose needs haven’t been met otherwise.
Again, that’s not a dig on other agencies out there — I’ve worked with shops that tried to do everything, and the outcomes were never pretty. Right now, marketers and advertisers have so many needs that it’s impossible for anyone to meet all of them.
Here’s a sampling of some of these models, with a snapshot of how these firms describe themselves. It’s not an exhaustive list, but all have thoughtful approaches, and I’d be happy to introduce you to any of them. Click any of the founders’ and CEOs’ names, and it will directly tee up an intro request to them.
Accelerate Your Growth
We are a trusted growth platform that delivers results via technology, digital media, retail marketplace & analytics expertise to help brands and companies out-flank their competition
Freddie Laker et al
We are designed to build and grow great companies
We reinvented the traditional company by removing classical hierarchies, unnecessary costs, and business models that cause inflexibility.
Far From Timid
Where Brands Become Legends
Far from Timid creates brands that deeply connect with people, not just for today. We craft tipping point web 2/3 brand and community strategies (with the hungry content machine in mind), design web 2/3/IRL customer journeys, and activate multi-format content that brings those journeys to life.
A strategic marketing agency for growth-stage B2B tech startups
We are a team of “senior doers” — not just consultants — who identify clients’ salient points, then launch, accelerate, and streamline their marketing strategies and programs.
With so much tumult on macroeconomic and microeconomic levels, we’re going to see way more variety emerge from all of this, and that will also lead to greater competition for talent.
You’ll need some folks who can ford a river, and you’ll need others who can caulk a wagon and float it across. Not everyone has the cash to take a ferry.
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WHAT TO READ:
Recent content shared by Serial Marketers and friends:
- Skill-a-Thon Live by Serial Marketers by Serial Marketers
- On to Building Future-ish Things (2023) by Rob Leathern
- Dragon Army Promotes Jenn Leahy to CEO by Dragon Army
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Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. You can also see our full list of job resources here. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.
Head of Marketing
Via Erik in the community
“We are growing rapidly, and we are ready to hire a marketing leader, reporting directly to the CEO. The Head of Marketing will lead all aspects of our marketing initiatives, with primary focus on product marketing and messaging—but with the know how to structure and measure demand generation campaigns that build pipeline. To be successful in the role, you will need to be a player-coach and unafraid to roll-up sleeves to see strategy through to execution. This is not a pure strategy role—you’ll need to be scrappy and lead by doing. You should have experience executing on strategy. You will work with a Demand Generation Manager to start, with the opportunity to build the marketing team over time.”
Director of Product Management
Via Marc in the community
“Advantage Solutions is seeking a Director of Product Management for our Harmony business unit who has passion and experience with managing B2B/SaaS software products, and who enjoys engaging and leading teams. Harmony is a fast-moving technology start-up within Advantage and the $100 bn retail media market. As a product leader, you will be both an individual contributor to define and deliver the vision and product strategy for the business and a member of the leadership team. You will hire, and oversee, a small team of product managers commensurate with business growth. You will lead your team and partner across business and engineering teams to drive business outcomes, driving revenue growth, decreasing costs, and delivering customer delight. The position is remote eligible (in the US) and reports to Greg Stevens, Executive Vice President of Harmony”
BANK OF AMERICA
Sr Content Designer & Writer
“You’ll apply your extraordinary command of the written word to the ever-changing challenges of our digital landscape. Collaborating with a team of design, product and content experts, you’ll write sharp copy that helps make our customers’ financial lives easier. You’ll also: –Develop and polish content that blends seamlessly across our digital products, applying our existing style, brand and tone guidelines and making them even better along the way. –Tell stories, drive crisp and cohesive narratives for digital experiences that engage users, and enable them to complete tasks — collaborating with multi-disciplinary product designers to present compelling imagery and language. US ONLY (no exception) / Hybrid requiring 3 days/week in office. Preferred locations: Charlotte, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, NYC, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Bank equipment/laptop required to stay in the US”
Marketing Manager (META paid ads)
“We are looking for a Paid Social Media Manager who will eventually lead our efforts across both paid advertising and email marketing. The goal is to grow into the Head of Marketing. The most important area in which we’re looking to add expertise is in paid social (facebook + instagram) strategy. Further expertise in paid google and email marketing are big plus skills for us, but responsibility for these areas could be inherited over time, as expertise is built. You’ll be managing a small, nimble team of designers and copywriters to produce and publish necessary assets for campaigns across these various channels.”
Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board
Other job resources (see a full list here):
- Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
- Braintrust: A freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
- Candidate: Featured marketing and sales jobs
- ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
- Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
- NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
- Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
- Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
- Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”