With the end of the year on the horizon, analysis and planning have likely taken center stage for your brand. Like many of us, you’re probably eager to close the door on 2020 and move into a new year with fresh energy. This makes it the perfect time to consider whether current partners and investments are serving your brand as well as they could be.
As you work to make business adjustments in your marketing spend and other areas, it’s critical to think through your brand’s agency partnerships. Are they elevating your brand to new heights—or bogging down your decisions? With your brand’s upcoming goals and plans in mind, it may be time to partner with an independent agency—one who can come alongside you, take risks with you and help your brand do more in 2021.
The Independent Agency Difference
It’s not that we just like doing our own thing (even though we do). Independent agencies have the ability to do what it takes to provide exactly what a client partner needs to be successful. “There is an organic entrepreneurial spirit at independent agencies because we are freer to take chances as we see fit for our client partners,” says Patrick Sherry, VP, Director of Business Development.
Without the “red tape” that can often hinder decision-making and approval due to shareholder demands, independent agencies can move forward quickly and confidently, even on bold ideas. “We don’t have to wait for permission; we can just go,” says Emilie Guthrie, Vice President, Director of Account Management.
Though it might seem riskier to work with an agency that doesn’t have the backing of a larger network or holding company, when you partner with an independently-owned agency, you’ll often find the same deep resources and extensive capabilities—with the freedom to push the envelope. “We can work faster, pivot quickly and provide better transparency in our partnerships, making them extremely meaningful and fruitful for all involved,” Guthrie adds.
Wanted: Ambitious Brands
It’s no secret: at GS&F, we’re all about working with brands who can match our passion for reaching the next level. We want folks in the room who get excited when the wild ideas come out, even if they sometimes end up on the cutting room floor or spawn other thinking. We want to work with clients that run toward big, challenging ideas and opportunities rather than away from them.
And independent agencies can be a little picky with our partners, which means we’re always mutually raising the bar, challenging each other to produce the best work possible. “We never want to approach any client challenge with anything other than our mutual best interests and results in mind,” says Gregg Boling, president and COO at GS&F.
We’ve Got Skin in the Game
Simply put, your success is our success. So when we’re working round-the-clock on your latest campaign, we’re invested. You’re not consistently being bumped down the priority list. In fact, we can invest in the resources we need with your brand in mind.
“As an independent, we can make decisions based on where we see our business going,” says Boling. “We can invest in the areas we want in order to drive growth—we don’t have to follow any preconceived models. This, in turn, allows for more innovation—ultimately leading to improved outcomes for our team and our clients.”
Boling points to the Leads Model as an example of innovative solutions driven by our autonomy as we challenged traditional workflow models. “With the Leads Model, your brand always has a leader from each of our key disciplines bolted to your business, which ensures everyone is focused on driving stronger results,” he says.
“Our autonomy is our freedom to do what’s best for our clients and our staff at any given time,” Guthrie adds. We can tailor our resources to fit what your brand needs, pulling in the right experts and teams to make decisions that will help your brand achieve the business goals you initially put in front of us.
Integrated + Independent = Wins for Your Brand
Working with an independent agency certainly offers freedom for creative leaps and taking chances for your brand, but when your independent agency is also fully integrated—that’s when the real steps forward happen.
Imagine your brand needing a website overhaul, a social media strategy and PR coverage for an upcoming event. Now imagine hiring an agency for the website, a different group for social and yet another expert for PR. Just considering the emails alone should make you think differently on approaching the work that way!
At integrated agencies like GS&F, our teams can revamp that site, get social media underway and snag earned media hits. And since our teams collaborate consistently, your website’s goals will align how your audience reaches the site, and social media will cover the earned hits you receive—you get the idea. Plus, if you ever need additional services—like UX design or social listening—for your next marketing tactic, we’ve likely got the best team to handle what you need.
Time to Make the Switch?
As you think through next year’s plans for your brand, consider your next steps. Is it time to explore partnerships with an independent agency? At GS&F, we’re always on the lookout for ambitious brands who want to be brave with us.
As 2020 wraps up, we know the brands who take chances are going to be the ones that stand out. That’s where we come in. Drop us a line and let’s get your brand noticed!