I was scrolling through the black hole known as my Instagram feed and stumbled across this video:
It struck a chord. Three professional athletes with decades of experience in the same sport, thousands of practice hours and hundreds of miles ran against 100 kids. Nevermind the volume, it’s certainly cheaper to pay the kids. The athletes have multi-million dollar contracts while the kids get paid in juice boxes and orange slices. With everything equal, these amateur athletes should overtake them like a scene from World War Z, but after the first thirty seconds of the match, it’s pretty clear who will win.
As the match starts, the athletes apply strategy as they dribble the ball down the field, passing with precision and methodically choosing their targets. The opposing team is a swarm of reactionary chaos. Always chasing the ball. Instead of dispersing across the field, they try to create short-term gains by going after the ball where it is versus where it will be.
Being at a smaller media agency, this video highlights perfectly our arguments on the new business front. If I had a nickel for every time we were asked about the size of our agency, I could pay for my kid’s college with a briefcase of cash. It’s a valid question, but when a potential client sees our roster and client portfolio, they’re taken aback. “How can a 15-person shop run that much media for that number of clients?” “Will you even be able to handle our account?” It’s simple. We don’t put amateurs on accounts. Amateurs are looking at short-term solutions. They’re reactionary…yes-men. They go to where the ball is versus where it will be. They’ll make hundreds of changes to an account without knowing the impact just to say, “we’re optimizing an account”.
Other agencies look at it from a numbers game. They load up headcounts and charge a client bare minimum because that’s what they’re receiving: the bare minimum. Clients believe that they’re getting a huge deal with a staff of 30 handling their media, but these agencies strategize based on short-term trends with no research into consumer paths. Next time you’re on a call with your agency, ask, “how long have customers been considering our brand/products before an actual purchase” or “what’s our long-term strategy for implementing testing cycles for our media”. Odds are you’ll hear a long pause from the Media Director that glanced at your account before the call, or your account manager will get back to you after consulting the intern that’s managing your media investments. That’s because your media is being run by 100 7-year-olds.
The function of a media agency is to provide clients with long-term success. That’s not accomplished by hiring as many as people as possible or providing the cheapest rate. That’s only predicated by bringing individuals onto an account that know when to push and pull. They know when to say “no”. That’s why a 15-person agency can handle large accounts. That’s why Media Two can handle some of the largest accounts. We’re a team of professionals with the experience to outmaneuver and outperform 100-person shops.