In this week's Coffee with Cabell, we talked about what resources he pulls to work on particular accounts. In short, his answer was, "Only the ones that are needed".
The advertising industry is moving to a more customizable business format. Meaning agencies are beginning to see the benefit in catering to what the client needs and ONLY what they need. Larger agencies have to consider their entire staff, and overhead, so clients can be charged a large fee even if they are only using a few of the agency’s resources.
Having worked in both large and small agencies, it has become clear that the best format is a small agency (no more than, say, 10 employees) with freelance partners you can hire as needed. Your spending is lowered and in turn, so is the client’s. Another benefit to this format is being able to get the best of the best. Having the best creative team, producers, editors, illustrators, etc. on staff, full-time, could get pretty costly. It’s also unlikely that one agency would be able to hire the best of the best in every department. Outsourcing, however, means you can hire the best illustrator (for example) for one particular project, and then hire out another illustrator that best suits another project. It allows you to pick and choose the most effective team for each client.
It benefits your staff as well. How do you staff for clients you don’t know you’ll have a year from now? Having a core base assisting with the projects and then hiring out for special circumstances such as photo or video shoots means being able to afford to hold on to those full-time staff members. Why keep a film editor on staff, for example, when you can’t guarantee you’ll be shooting and editing film for a client all year long?
At the end of the day, it’s the most logical choice, not only for the owner of the company but its staff and clients as well.