Private sector work moving to black-owned agencies
It’s still a struggle to do business as a black person with both the private sector and the government. With the BBBEE Mac Charter coming into play, the prediction is that more private-sector work will slowly be moving to black-owned. It will be interesting to see what 2018 brings for the ad industry as a whole. Cape Town-based agencies, which have always been perceived to be slow in transformation, can no longer stall because more and more clients are now demanding it. And the excuse of “but there are no ‘credible’ or large enough outfits to include in pitches” is no longer valid.
The continued rise of perma-lancing
In the talent space, we are seeing the rise of perma-lancing. It is becoming difficult to keep good people, and it’s costing agencies more and more (costs that are not in line with client budgets).
Talent has also caught up with the government demand for transformation within agency (and client) management structures, and we are seeing a demand for higher salary packages as they stand at an advantage to fill this gap.
Budgets and creativity
In a world where budgets are constantly decreasing, everyone is keen to see how agencies will harness the true power of creativity. Big ideas are not about big budgets, and the environment is fast approaching where clients are ringfencing budgets and taking more control of agency margins.
Managing an agency is becoming grueling, as clients, especially the big global brands, are inexplicably pushing for longer payment plans — we are essentially now funding our client campaigns.
Ever-decreasing budgets and the expectations for more and more are symptoms of an increasingly digital world: more for less. Production values have to be kept in check; just because it’s a digital idea doesn’t mean that there should be a low production value attached to it.
2017 has been dubbed as the year for ‘new’ independent agencies to disrupt, and many of the players delivered on this — from account wins to key talent attractions and awards. Sadly, this also saw some of the biggest and older players closing their doors. The market is tough and getting tougher, and also changing fast! And so,2018 shall be dubbed as the year for these ‘new’ independents to keep disrupting — it’s time to rise!