What Small Agencies Have to Be Thankful For

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Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
Last week, we ate turkey and reflected upon what we're thankful for. Around the dinner table, most of the gratitude is for family. Around the conference-room table, it's also that time of year to reflect on the things small-to-midsize agencies should be grateful for.

It's easy to bitch about dealing with clients who don't get it. Or how tough it can be to find good talent today. Or trying to make a great campaign successful on a lean budget. Surely, the large agencies don't have to deal with that as often. Or do they? Regardless, there are plenty of things that make me get up in the morning and excited about going to work.

Here, in no particular order, is my list of what I'm thankful for:
  • Opportunity to work with a smart, tight-knit group, who are uniquely talented.
  • The ability to say "yes" to new opportunities that are really intriguing.
  • Technology. It's transformed the agency business, and allowed small shops to behave as larger ones.
  • The ability to say "no" to new business opportunities that are not a fit. And since we are not part of a large, publicly traded holding company, we can do that.
  • The chance to make an impact. On our clients' brands. On the careers of our team members. On our families. On our community.
  • That we're not lifting heavy objects for a living.
  • We can integrate a whole lot more effectively than the big shops (and that's coming from an Ogilvy alum!).
  • On that note, we're more nimble, agile and responsive. And that's what clients need today.
  • We get the digital thing much more than the large shops, who are trying to figure it out by buying the interactive agencies who are eating their lunch.
  • We can level the playing field with one, big idea.
  • The travel is not as arduous as it is when you're working in one of the global shops. Sure, I have my fair share of domestic trips for business, but it's fairly contained by comparison.
  • Our happy hours and Halloween and Christmas parties are flat-out more fun.
  • Great ideas get through the agency pipeline more often. Can you say "no red tape"?
  • That we can close the shop early when we want to so our staff can get a head-start on the holidays. Even though most people stay late. Ah, the agency business.
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