Lately, quite a few articles have been appearing about the Agency-as-a-Platform (AaaP) model. It is described as a new way of thinking about advertising and communication agencies. They claim to turn a traditional agency into a multifunctional hub, which offers a variety of communication services and technologies all in one place. This model is like a Swiss Army knife for communication needs, providing many tools and solutions together. Is Agency-as-a-Platform just a new buzzword, or is it really a fundamental new approach for agencies? Well, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. It does strongly remind one of the 'Agency-of-Record' model and the 'Integrated Agency' model. Let's therefore dig a little deeper.
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The 'new' Agency-as-a-Platform Model is based on the idea of an agency functioning as a platform, similar to how digital platforms operate. It focuses on flexibility, scalability, and collaboration. In this model, an agency can provide a core set of services or capabilities, but it also offers a platform for a network of freelancers, specialists, and partner companies to collaborate and contribute. This enables the agency to be agile, adapting to different client needs by assembling tailored teams from a broader talent pool. The platform model is particularly effective in a digital-focused marketing world, where specialized skills (such as social media, SEO, analytics) are often required.
The Integrated Agency Model aims to provide a comprehensive range of services under one roof. The idea is to offer clients a one-stop-shop for all their marketing and communication needs, including advertising, PR, digital marketing, content creation, and more. The integrated model emphasizes consistency and coherence in messaging across all channels and platforms. Agencies following this model typically have a diverse team of professionals with varied expertise, to ensure they can internally handle a wide array of client requirements.
The main differences between these two models are:
Resources: The platform model utilizes external networks and is more project-specific, while the integrated model relies on internal resources and aims to provide a consistent set of services.
Flexibility vs. Consistency: The platform model offers more flexibility and is often better adaptable to specific client needs, especially for niche or specialized services. However, the integrated model offers the advantage of a consistent and cohesive strategy and execution across various marketing and communication disciplines.
Scalability: The platform model can more easily scale up or down based on client projects, tapping into an extensive network of external collaborators. The integrated model, while scalable, may have limitations based on the size and skills of the internal team.
AaaP is not just a fleeting buzzword, but a reflective adaptation to the evolving needs of the digital marketing world. By combining the agility and flexibility of leveraging a network of external talents with the ability to provide a diverse range of services, the AaaP model represents a hybrid approach. This model responds adeptly to the demands for specialized skills in today's digital-first landscape. Whether it's a groundbreaking shift or a natural evolution in agency models, the AaaP approach undoubtedly adds a valuable dimension to the way agencies operate and serve their clients in an increasingly complex and digital-centric market.
PitchPoint's role is integral in the AaaP ecosystem, bridging the gap between innovative agency platforms and forward-thinking brands. By leveraging their expertise in partnership management, PitchPoint not only enhances the efficacy of these collaborations but also contributes significantly to the overall success and growth of both brands and agencies in the digital communication arena. Contact PitchPoint for more information.