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Independent Agency CEO Challenges Brands to Rethink Conglomerate Agency Partnerships

November 22, 2019 GMT

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- When ProcureCon Marketing invited TideSmart Global President/CEO Steve Woods to speak at their event in Austin, Texas, it’s unlikely they expected the head of the independent agency to throw down the gauntlet to well-known marketing conglomerates.

Woods, a veteran of three conglomerate agencies, founded an independent agency in 2003. TideSmart Global is a collection of specialty marketing agencies near Portland, Maine that has worked with multiple Fortune 100 companies.

“The giant (agency) networks and other large companies have all kinds of infrastructure, all kinds of redundancies,” Woods said. “They have capabilities, but they have a lot of overhead. That makes it really hard as far as cost efficiency.”

The instinct for brands can be that bigger is better, that large, well-known brands should go for the biggest agency they can find. But in most cases, an established independent agency can better serve the brand’s needs for far less without sacrificing quality.

“We are asked all the time, ‘Why Maine?’ It’s about the overhead. A New York City agency leases 2,000 square feet of office space in a Manhattan high-rise while we own an 8-acre, eco-friendly campus for far less,” Woods continued. “Add in higher staff salaries, even higher executive compensation, and throw in the occasional corporate jet – we fly coach, by the way – and it is easy to see that a big chunk of what you are paying to an agency is going to cover overhead expenses and not to your program.”

Many brands, especially established ones, feel safety in hiring an equally recognized agency. While today’s gig economy provides for many experienced small agencies and even freelancers who can produce quality work on their behalf, the associated risks can frighten procurement pros into not straying from the safety of the known option despite the high cost.

“With fixed overhead expenses, the only option available for overly large agencies to control your program cost is to require you to sign an extended contract or to assign your account to a junior agent or even freelancer,” Woods continued. “You’re paying for the longevity and prestige of the name, yet in reality, you may not be getting what you think you are paying for.”

“The paradigm shift is coming,” Woods said. “Independent agencies offer something that is more direct, responsive, focused, and cost effective. A mid-sized independent agency can produce the same program – same scope, same execution – and save a brand up to 32%. Think about it: for every million-dollar marketing budget, that’s $320,000 that could remain in your company’s bank account.”

For more information, read the white paper “Marketing Procurement: Special Agency Report”

TIDESMART GLOBAL®: Since 2003, TideSmart Global has provided experiential solutions to some of the biggest and best companies in the world by combining the art of live experiences with the science of both new and traditional media. TideSmart Global consists of eight companies: EMG3, Promerica Health, Sumerian Sports, Viridescent Marketing, Confidential Consumer, TideSmart Logistics, LEAP and TideSmart Studio. All eight companies operate from a unique 8-acre, eco-friendly campus in Falmouth, Maine. www.tidesmart.com

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SOURCE TideSmart Global