Small Agencies Fight Back: Takeaways from the Ad Age Small Agency Conference & Awards

Posted by Chris Hering, Director, Product Marketing NetSuite GBU at Oracle

This year’s Ad Age Small Agency Conference provided a wealth of information for smaller agencies. From the breadth of agencies that attended, to the speaking sessions and networking events, attendees got the chance to share and learn. Here are some of the most impressive insights.


Small agencies are winning big business

It’s not a groundbreaking phenomenon that small agencies are taking away business from some of the agency giants, but how they are doing it is noteworthy. It may sound simple, but it’s not rocket science to win business from the giants. Larger agencies often allocate their time based on which clients pay them the most; this approach can tarnish their relationships with their lower value clients. Camp + King – one of the winners of the Small Agency of the Year Award – proves that David can beat Goliath by putting in the extra work. They came to the table with multiple options for their client to choose – really differentiating themselves from the competition that only presented one option. Camp + King won the business for Energizer Batteries against an agency giant by simply investing more time and going the extra mile for Energizer. After both agency’s pitches, Energizer’s decision to choose Camp + King was simple because they felt the love, and it was apparent that Energizer hadn’t received that from their former partner in years.

Small, but mighty creative

Terri & Sandy, a New York based agency, took home the gold prize for Small Agency of the Year. They epitomize the trend of small agencies stealing business from larger ones. CEO Sandy Greenberg pokes fun at their underdog mentality.

“We have a joke that we’ve beaten agencies with offices in more countries than we have people,” he said. “Creative People run the company and we communicate, approve things and make decisions fast.”

Terri & Sandy have big, brand name clients like Avon that benefit from their approach and creativity. For example, the team designed a new logo that did a 180 on Avon’s obsolete logo, changing it to a contemporary image with the millennial-friendly tagline: “This is Boss Life” which reportedly boosted Avon’s leads by nearly 50 percent. Smaller agencies are nimble, allowing them to get creative with campaigns, and they often understand current trends in the market more acutely than larger agencies that have been around for decades.

Scaling your agency 

In many breakout sessions, the theme of scaling your agency intelligently was a topic of discussion. Many speakers stressed how focused attention, nimbler teams and faster turnaround time are critical to clients, which all theoretically play well for small agencies looking to break into name brand accounts. To achieve best results for clients, small agencies need to constantly think about the future of their businesses to ensure they don’t fall behind their completion. NetSuite helps small agencies act and win big by delighting their brands. Whether your brand is asking for improved project reporting and faster turnarounds, transparency into your agency’s spending, or better reporting and metrics, NetSuite helps small agencies retain the trust of their top clients with a fully functional business management system built for small agencies.

Learn more about NetSuite’s software for advertising agencies.

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