Redefining the global agency network

Businesses with a global footprint often require their agency partners to have global capabilities. All the best-known agency networks have presence in key markets, and it’s easy to see why: it suits the agencies to win high value, global revenue opportunities, and it suits the client’s objectives for brand consistency, logistical simplicity and economies of scale.

Great. Except it’s not.

The formal network agency model is tired, inflexible and becoming less suited to the dynamics of global marketing. The fact is, once client A is tied into network agency B, theirs becomes a marriage of convenience rather than passion, held together by a soulless Service Level Agreement.

The personnel and capabilities of the network agency are fixed. The delivery model is by necessity driven by process (centralise the strategy, localize/translate the execution. Measure. Repeat). And the incentives for either side to look beyond the confines of the SLA are pretty much non-existent.

As a client, you get what you’re given.

So, what if the network model changed completely? What if networks instead comprised informally connected communities of entrepreneurial agencies – a mix of like-minded creative and strategic powerhouses, all of them excited by the possibilities of contemporary marketing, and all bringing intense flavours of local knowledge to enhance in-country marketing relevance and effectiveness?

Clients would gain access not just to the expertise, technologies and techniques of a single network agency (however illustrious they may be) – but to the combined capabilities of 30, 40, 50 market-leading specialists, located in major cities all over the world.

They would be agencies that know each other intimately, that work together regularly, that share vision and values, that have proven models for delivering campaigns at scale on behalf of global clients.

The Crocodile is a founding member of the Affinità network, launching on 27th September. We are ten agencies today and growing fast; a vigorous community – handpicked for their energy, expertise and effectiveness – and all convinced by the potential for harnessing independent thought in pursuit of marketing excellence.

In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing our vision of how Affinità can break the mold of international network marketing to help clients have better, more valuable connections and conversations with global markets.