With management talent available as holding companies consolidate, it is tempting for agencies to import stars to take over key specialties—hoping to give the business an instant boost.
That may prove a mistake, as it has for some pro sports teams that have attempted to buy a championship roster—several of which reversed course to build from within. Agencies will do better to promote specialty chiefs from across the agency to develop broader, deeper leadership.
The pressure on agencies to drive business results has never been higher. Industries grow more complex as media infrastructure expands, audiences multiply and lower barriers to entry online invite more kinds of competitors. Add the requirement to achieve more with less and winning requires more systemic marketing coordination than ever. We need to do more and more complicated things and need to do them faster. Such coordination takes a more integrated approach and tighter teamwork. Key people with broader vision and trust put you on the fast track because getting there is equally about talent and culture.