Advertising, marketing, PR, social, digital, print: Today's communication agencies have to keep adding new areas of expertise if they want to offer truly integrated communication services to their clients. This is a challenge, especially for small and mid-sized agencies. Their customers want state-of-the-art channels, while their budgets do not allow agencies to set up new units. But why buy when you can share specialist knowledge? This is the idea of THE AGENCY CLOUD, an initiative of two Hamburg-based agencies, WAW and redRobin Brand Marketing Communications.

THE AGENCY CLOUD: Sharing economy for specialist know-how

"The speed of today’s digitization has caused a fragmentation of channels, techniques and know-how that requires a multitude of specialists to manage. Developing that expertise is a challenge for all agencies", says Ilja Emrich, Creative Director at redRobin. "Of course, you can hire freelancers with specialist know-how ", says Emrich. This is quite common, not only for small teams. But this usually happens much too late in the process, when the strategy is fixed, and campaigns are being implemented.

"If you really want to integrate new media and new technology in a meaningful way, you have to understand the mechanisms of those channels. That's where we need the experts at the table, at the planning stage, to fully exploit the potential. If I get the architect on board after the design of the house is finalized, I am giving away valuable input and the chance to create something extraordinary," says Emrich.

"The idea of an agency cloud is to bring in expertise right at the beginning," says Leon Maresch, Managing Director of WAW. But this is a sensitive issue, especially in pitches and in the early stages of strategy and ideation. It is vital to trust each other and to have a common understanding of the benefits for the parties involved. "This is at the core of our sharing approach at THE AGENCY CLOUD", says Maresch. It will also allow for a better transfer of knowledge and an improved level of strategic expertise available to clients. As an added benefit, the exchange of expertise and experts could bring in fresh ideas and increase creativity.

THE AGENCY CLOUD will make its partners visible: All agencies involved in a campaign are named from the moment the contract is awarded. Maresch: “Clients know that agencies hire third party expertise. With THE AGENCY CLOUD, we say this from the very beginning. The clients know the people involved and can be sure that a well-rehearsed team is working for them, without any budget envy or friction losses", says Maresch.

THE AGENCY CLOUD starts in February 2020 with expertise in brand management, design, video, digital and public relations for both, B2C and B2B campaigns. The first three months will be dedicated to improving the workflows. After that, additional agencies will be added to the cloud. Emrich: "As entrepreneurs, it is our decision. If we feel there is a fit in culture and expertise, then we can onboard new partners quickly."

About redRobin.

redRobin specializes in brand marketing and public relations with particular focus on complex financial, IT, industrial and business topics. Founded in 2005, a team of eleven consultants, creatives, developers and editors advise regional, national and international B2B clients, implementing integrated digital and print campaigns, media relations and public relations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

About WAW Group.

WAW was founded in 1950 as a strategic partner of the furniture industry. Today, the agency develops brand strategies for furniture, design and home accessories, lifestyle, food and beverage. The agency focuses on strategy and design, media planning, design of catalogues, advertising and POS as well as trade fairs and media relations.