The Hybrid Agency Tango: Part 3

Excerpts from Henry Stewart Seminar with Vanessa Vollum Edwards

Welcome to Part 3 of the Hybrid Agency Tango! As a quick reminder, the 1st blog post focused on an introduction to the Hybrid Pyramid and half of the “Frenemy” layer of the pyramid (Full-Service AOR).  We followed up with our 2nd blog, which covered the remaining half of the Frenemy layer (Lead AOR + Niche Agencies), plus the first layer of the Hybrid pyramid, the Agency Led Alliance. If you are just joining us, below is a visual representation of the Hybrid Agency Pyramid, and a brief description of the evolution of IHA from 1.0 to Hybrid.

Wrapping up the Agency Led Track

In this 3rd blog, we will be wrapping up the Agency Led track (left side) by focusing on the Agency Led Integration model.

Agency Led Integration

The next tier in the Agency Led track is the Agency Led Integration model.  So, why do I call this integration? Because integration is defined as the “blending of things into a functioning and unified whole” which is exactly what this tier should be.  I consider this one of the most ideal working relationships for Agencies and Brands on the Agency Led track.

This model is a natural evolution from the Agency Led Alliance model, where the Brand now takes on ownership of the Research and Consumer knowledge needed to fuel their marketing insights, as well as their Analytics and Reporting.  This allows Agencies to do what they do best while allowing Brands to focus on the customer journey and the lifetime value of their clients.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits of this model – of which there are many.  While the Brand still has all the great benefits of the previous Alliance model, they now have the additional visibility and control over full circle analytics and reporting. They can now link marketing campaign metrics to their other in-house data sources to measure the full customer journey and determine marketing cost per acquisition.  This holistic view into the customer insights + journey allows Brands to be agile in their priority channels and optimize quickly.

However, this model only makes sense at a certain level of marketing spend and complexity. In order to make this work, Brands now have to hire and manage a multitude of experts in-house, even if they don’t consistently have enough work for all that headcount. In addition, only Brands and Agencies with strong project management disciplines will be able to efficiently navigate these waters of increased integration.





That’s a Wrap – For Now

Thank you for reading the 3rd post in a larger series that focuses on the evolution from in-house to Hybrid!  The next blog post in the series will transition to the Brand Led track, and will focus on the Full-Service In-House Agency and/or Marketing Department + Studio models.

At the end of the series, we will be discussing the Hybrid Magic Quadrant, which should provide some practical orientation for where you are today and where you may want to be in the future.

© 2020 Creative Performance Inc., All Rights Reserved

About Vanessa Vollum Edwards

Hailing from Portland, OR, Vanessa graduated from university with a degree in Philosophy. An amateur helicopter and fixed wing pilot since age sixteen, she began her first career as a pilot for LifeFlight. Upon completing her MBA, Vanessa was recruited by a fellow classmate into becoming the CFO/COO for a digital agency experiencing rapid growth. The agency was acquired in 2010. Over the last decade, Vanessa has built a strategic consultancy focused on empowering agency principals, accelerating growth, increasing profitability and deploying agency management software.  She is a founder of AgencyStory®, a patent pending curated analytics solution for the marketing services industry.

About CPI

Creative Performance Inc. (CPI) is a marketing operations consultancy for the marketing services industry (both Agency + In-House). We specialize in improving our client’s Organizational Agility and Operational Resilience; through a seamless integration of industry best-practices, mar-tech and business intelligence.  CPI is an AgencyStory®, Deltek®, Oracle Agile and Workamajig® partner.

Contact CPI

We help agency leadership achieve their goals.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.