As a self-confessed shortarse (on a good day I can manage 5’7 if I wear two pairs of socks), I’ve always been a big advocate of the ‘good things come in small packages’ school of thought, but is this true of creative agencies? Well, I would argue, it’s never been truer than it is now.
I’ve worked in (mainly) small creative agencies for over 30 years and have (almost) always chosen small independents over big corporates.
Traditionally, creative agencies started small but grew to service big clients, and for years, big brands have partnered with big creative agencies feeling that to do so reflected their stature in the marketplace – only to find them top-heavy with bureaucracy, processes, people and systems. It’s pretty much worked like that since the 60s.
Happily, that is changing, big is no longer the yardstick (ahem) of success, with more and more brands, big and small, moving towards smaller, independent, creative-led agencies like Guerilla – who punch way above their weight. (We often find ourselves on the same pitch lists as the big agency heavyweights – and beat them too).
Why do I like working for a small agency? That’s easy, I like working with people I like. I like working on projects that interest and inspire me. I like working for clients I respect and like feeling that I, personally, can make a real difference to their businesses.
Why do our clients prefer a small agency? Well, I’ve always believed that people buy people – that clients hire a team, not a company – and with a small agency they’re guaranteed to get the A team – because there is no B team.
At Guerilla, we have a small core team – but we deliver big. We do this by partnering with the right specialist collaborators – but mainly, we do it by working more closely with our clients to achieve the goals they want to achieve – building a relationship based on trust, shared responsibility and total accountability – a real relationship.
You know the ones, where you get to know us and we get to know you – not just your business objectives, target audience and KPIs (that’s a given), but your pressures, your concerns, your thoughts, feelings and opinions – and what do you really need from your creative partners?
Being small allows us to be agile, flexible and responsive, bureaucracy hates creativity and our lack of complex corporate structures and hierarchy is actually the foundation for some real competitive advantages. Speed, objectivity, original ideas, unfiltered thinking, and entrepreneurial instincts are what drive our success, we give all our clients total access to big agency talent without the big agency bullshit.
Finally, there is the current economic climate, the fact is that small agencies simply have lower overheads, you’re not paying for a bunch of strategists or PHP developers to sit around twiddling their thumbs until they either are or are not needed – so you’re getting more bang for your buck (as we say in marketing).
So there you go, real relationships, complete accountability, brilliant talent, total flexibility and genuine value for money.
All in all – now’s an exciting time to be small.