The market with no name (yet)

ZZ649F5EFBThere’s a gap in the market for agencies and management consultancies. Or rather, there’s a gap between their two markets which is growing.

Last year I talked about the need for marketing agencies to “become McKinsey faster than McKinsey can become us”. Since then we’ve seen both industries begin to encroach on one another’s territories.

Witness the big management consultancies efforts to win in digital:

Is there any action in  the other direction? Well, we’ve not seen WPP or Omnicom buying management consultancies just yet, but there are plenty of people who would have been seen as belonging to the marketing-advertising complex taking up positions in management consultancy-land:

  • Econsultancy offers training and consultancy on digital transformation.
  • Fluxx’s positioning as a “product and innovation agency” is also interesting. Formed of people from a digital agency background, and EMC’s consulting wing, it appears to be a management consultancy that works with a tech-savvy, agile method.
  • Brilliant new ideas like Adaptive Lab’s positioning as “start-up as a service” or a “skunworks-for-hire”. This can be used to develop apps and experiences for marketing – but products are about more than shiny-thing to grab the consumer’s attention – they can be businesses in their own right.

And, of course, Brilliant Noise, my own agency, with our “Customer First, Earn Advocacy, Transformative Digital” mantra – a year ago we saw ourselves as marketing spilling out into the rest of the organisation, an outcome of the need for marketing to be more connected to succeed, and of the disruption of ideas about how organisations work that the web is causing.

Digital transformation

Let’s take a closer look at this phrase – arguably a re-badging of the clumsy “social business” tag, following on from whatever it was before. A bit clue-trainy, very tech-savvy.

  • http://www.onemanandhisblog.com Adam Tinworth

    I can’t help feel that what we’re seeing is multiple gaps opening up between the remits of different traditional functions based on the new opportunities afforded by digital. Businesses still rooted in industrial-era management structure and approaches to communication (largely broadcast) can try and evolve into these spaces by devouring smaller businesses, but there’s plenty of evidence that the DNA of the prey rarely makes its way into the predator…

    In the medium term – if this change is as profound as many of us having been banging on about for years now, to the general annoyance of everyone else… ;-) – smaller, agile upstarts with a flexible mindset as to what they are as businesses will probably out-compete the good old dinosaurs, and start to define a new set of categories that won’t map well on to the old set.

    And I’ll shut up now before this becomes a blog post, not a comment.

  • amayfield

    Great comment – thanks, Adam. You’re right – there are multiple gaps and the new categories aren’t mapped yet. the newness make it challenging to articulate / categorise new approaches – but we’re getting there.