Have been visited by the great and good from the digital media industry over last few weeks and all are preaching similar concerns - to summarise
1. Most ad agencies' media spend is falling
2. Most ad agencies say it will continue to be of less importance to them
3. Many clients are going direct
4. Will their spend be eroded/replaced by social/direct recruiting etc
To be fair this tallies with the rare conversations i have with peers/competitors in industry (always noticeable still in 2012 how reliant some are on print billings for any healthy margins)
The "Confused" bit comes from that this conflicts hugely with our experience at OME -
1. Media billings going up ie more direct recruiting
2. LinkedIn spend replaces spend on rec agencies not necessarily media
3. They want a holistic approach to outward employer/recruiter messaging/process/engagement. Negotiating media deals is not the hard bit - its having an metric led approach that ensures you continue to deliver efficient results while simultaneously being innovative and managing the whole process (using the right MI).
4. So desire (not need but desire) for the right supplier has never been as high or as useful i think
So what to think
1. we are wrong (possible)
2. the old industry is so fragmented that no rules apply across the board. You have big trad agencies desperate to reinvent themselves (RPO/Marcomms/Strategy), small players wo have found a niche and doing fine and many in the middle.
3. I dont think we fit any of those categories anymore - so will concentrate on delivering a product to market that people want to buy.
4. Critical we stay on top of what is happening out there but not so far ahead as to be offering non practical advice for clients in next 12 months.