How many times have you heard clients say “I wish my agencies would collaborate more”? There seems little doubt that inter-agency collaboration is a good thing. It’s indisputable that all of us are smarter than one of us.
Unfortunately, there are a number of issues that have to be addressed before a client will be able to reap the rewards of greater inter-agency collaboration.
Before either clients or agencies can collaborate together they need to improve how they collaborate internally.
The first two big problems to overcome are budgets and status (which often go hand in hand). So everybody competes to get bigger budgets often at the expense of what is best for the business.
Client departments vie with one another and agencies try to land grab more work and budgets from other roster agencies.
Clients have to breakdown interdisciplinary silos (starting internally) to enable everyone to collaborate together to achieve a common set of goals.
Clients and agencies also need to find a new remuneration model that both rewards participation and results rather than hours spent and includes a fee for collaboration.
Another big issue is security. Clients and agencies seem to be under a constant fear of losing their jobs putting pressure to maintain the status quo and resist change. Everyone accepts that change is inevitable yet ostrich like nothing happens.
Collaboration is a specific expertise which needs someone senior internally to be responsible for it and outside experts to help deliver it.
It’s not easy and every client is unique. But there is new technology (and experts) out there to help create and implement a collaboration process. Those that do will prosper at the expense of those who don’t.