Today, Seth writes about the Trend to be the Best Available.
Interesting position. For some products/services, I think it's probably a really good way of looking at things. It certainly opens doors to some markets, especially if you market geographically.
For agencies, though, geography increasingly has next to nothing to do with who you can have as a client. If you've got the guns, you can go after anyone, anywhere. It's a small world, and in our world, that fact favors talent over proximity. Where the ad was created, or where the client's home office is, has nothing to do with anything once it's placed. It either gets someone's attention, or it doesn't. Simple as that.
But for most agencies, best (in category) is what they're after. Best B to B agency in the Midwest. Best direct agency in the Carolinas. Best of show in the local Addy's. My gut instinct is that they don't, really and truly, want to have to qualify their "best-ness." But they have to. Because some other agency is really the BEST-best.
The good news, though, is that nothing is forever. The best agency today won't be tomorrow. Our business is just too volatile for anything else. Before I was born, Burnett, or JWT was the best. When I was just starting to make some noise, Fallon was the best. Now it's arguably Crispin. But it'll change again and again, ad infinitum.
But you won't be the best, ever, if you set your sites with limits. (In your discipline, in your client's product category, in your local market, etc.)
Your local addys aren't as valuable as a One Show pencil, or a CA winner. That sucks, but that's the way it is. And a local addy from Minneapolis is worth more than one from DesMoines, though I'm sure DesMoines is a really great place. The world is small, and your work competes with Crispin's. Not just at the awards shows. But in every break, in every publication, and on every URL.
I don't mean to sound like a prima donna. Because I'm not one. I am, however, someone who wants to be the best. I want my agency to be the best. And I know that we won't get there by working to be the best (in category.)
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