By definition, independence is the “freedom from outside control.” Here at Hacker Agency, now no longer part of the IPG network, we are celebrating our new identity as an independent agency. In a time where the advertising agency industry is dominated by the “Big 4” agencies: WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, and the Interpublic Group, we are happily returning to our once independent roots.
It’s an interesting time—and not just for us. While holding companies form large international networks, and manage to a single P&L, they are striving for profit, efficiency, and success not just for their clients—but for their shareholders. Wall Street is watching. At the same time, clients are dealing with similar pressure for their own margins and efficiency. This push and pull can present a challenge for the people in the middle (client and agency alike) who do the work.
Indie agencies that thrive in this era of big networks are focused (specialty), and flexible partners. Specifically, what does our independence mean for our clients and our agency?
- Embracing our differences—What does it mean to belong to a big agency network? There’s a certain power and prestige in the sum of its parts. The promise of complementary work, satellite offices, pitching and winning business is seductive. And for some, it obviously works. In our case, we’re different. For us, the proverbial “big Ideas” have always been at least in part defined by our clients’ return on investment. As an independent agency we are no longer required to live from quarter to quarter or mandated to meet arbitrary targets, allowing us greater pricing flexibility for our clients. We are our own stakeholders and shareholders. We have the freedom to make decisions that are right for our organization and culture, including the clients we service, entrepreneurial hires and how to reinvest our profits.
- Empowered talent— Holding companies and more hierarchical structures are a complete juxtaposition to our flat organizational structure, carefully built to foster innovative, independent thinking and collaboration from anywhere in the organization. We’re confident this shift and energy will benefit employees and clients alike!
- Bottom-line agile focus—As clients face evolving pressures, we have seen an increased demand for fleet agile resources willing to put skin in the game. Count us in. We solve business problems. This north star made it easy for us to embrace agile methods—where milestones and processes are goal-oriented and not measured by hours and fancy reveals.
- Fluid resources—We’re placing a higher value on our agency’s ability to be a nimble resource. While this has always mattered, we see the ability to be flexible of growing importance. That’s what we value in our team, and that’s what our clients increasingly appreciate. Our independent entrepreneurial spirit attracts like-minded professionals who are bold and courageous, solutions-oriented, thrive on risk, and generally produce more transformative ideas for our clients.
Smart. Bold. Unfiltered. Pragmatic. Flexible. Nimble. We have the ability to adapt quickly to the changing business environment, we’re passionate about our work and possess unbridled entrepreneurial spirit. We are independent! Come work with us and see for yourself.