Sunlight will cure all, though, said Eric Mugnier, SVP for North America at M&C Saatchi Mobile.
“If you’re transparent with your clients and share the burden of the efficiency you provide for them, there is a much clearer relationship, and their success becomes your success,” Mugnier said.
It’s about setting the tone at the beginning.
“If you’re honest about it upfront from the start, it’s easier to have those conversations,” Weinberg said. “Just no bullshit.”
But some types of clients, like Silicon Valley-esque startups, for example, are a little more understanding than others – say big brands – about what goes into defragging the fragmented ecosystem.
“We still deal with the same stuff, but those conversations are more open,” said Weinberg, who noted that 3Q Digital is starting to position itself as what he called a “system facilitator” by helping clients integrate with various tech vendors, like attribution providers or the fraud detection guys.
“We’re selling our services and turning them more into products,” he said. “We don’t know what that rabbit hole will look like, so maybe we’ll charge for it. We create tiers around them, and that clarifies some things.”
It’s a representative of how the agency model itself is shifting (or being made to shift).
“When it comes to the digital agencies, things have changed completely,” said Stephanie Emmanouel, GM of mobile marketing agency Somo, pointing to the rise of consultancies and companies like IBM, Accenture and Deloitte, which have started to sneak into the top rankings of global agencies “almost overnight.”
“Marrying product with marketing – we’re going to see far more in that area and more competition,” Emmanouel said. “[But] we like competition – it keeps us on our toes and makes us better at what we do.”