If you’ve worked in the marketing world — especially as a creative — you know it involves a high degree of compromise. You compromise on the original concept for one that you know will get chosen. You compromise on your favorite design for one that makes the client happy. You compromise on something that’s perfect for something that works. In fact, one can argue that it’s that very process of modification and feedback — with clients, with each other — that makes the collaborative process meaningful.
But we also know that if we’re all stuck doing something we don’t like 90% of the time, that doesn’t work either. This is as true for agencies themselves as it is for the individuals who work at them.
A great agency is able to find the sweet spot in the diagram above: taking on work that a) it does well, b) it can be paid (well) for, and c) it wants to be doing. When you’re in that sweet spot, there’s nothing better.
However, even the best agencies won’t always land all three. At LogicTrail, we get plenty of offers for work we can get paid for, and that we do well…but those are not always the jobs that we want to be doing. As a small, talented agency working with a wide range of clients big and small, part of our growth process has been to recognize when we’re in a situation like this — being offered a job we don’t actually want to do — and start saying no. Even if it would make us a lot of money.
We’re also constantly learning and improving as an agency. If we want to do cutting-edge work in, say, 3-D animation or apps, that doesn’t mean we have the capacity to do it right at this moment. If that’s something we want to be doing, we have to build our way there. And there are things we do really well currently — high-level brand strategy, design, etc. — that we can monetize further.
Check out the graphic again. How does it apply to your agency?