And that immediately exposes the reason for conceiving these sisters. Not the love for the customer, not the passion for good work, but the lust for money. As a parent company, you set up sister companies – for content, digital, PR or dm – for one reason only: to keep more money within the family. And with that, a sister company for content is not much different than saying that you have another nephew who can take great pictures.
All those agencies are already seeing the downpour: more and more advertisers are opting for simple photo and video content themselves. inhouse to produce. Product videos, photos of new products, simple social content… it is all a lot faster, more efficient and cheaper if you do it in-house.
By setting up a content branch like crazy, those agencies hope to stop this trend. It’s pure self-interest, not customer interest. Because if you were to put the interests of the customer first, you would advise to do simple productions in-house and to place complex productions with independent specialists.
Because even for specialist productions, a content sister makes no sense. Real specialists are independent. I wrote about it once in May last year. As a dependent sister company you are forced to work together with your other brothers and sisters. With a sister for digital, a brother for events and a sister for such. So that you collect as many jobs (money) as possible for the family. The fact that they are not always the best specialists does not matter to the family; as long as money comes in.
I hope that advertisers ignore the dependent sisters and go for independent specialists. The future belongs to specialists. This applies to specialists in healthcare, this applies to specialists in the legal profession and that also applies to specialists in our profession. The advertising agencies that have not specialized in anything in recent years are having an extra hard time this year. But instead of seeing the light and looking for focus, they go in all directions. Merger to be able to offer “all disciplines” to the customer and to set up new business units “to provide the customer with extra service”. Which of course are just excuses to get a piece of the marketing cake here and there.
A specialist prefers not to work in a mishmash of disciplines. A specialist prefers to work in an environment where he or she is surrounded by colleagues. To inspire each other and to take each other’s work to a higher level. This applies to PR professionals, food videographers, branding designers, e-commerce professionals…. Specialists grow when they are surrounded by peers. They become blunt when they are tucked away in a room on their own as a content sister next to a PR brother and with themed campaign grandparents who actually don’t understand anything about that vague social media content.
So advertisers in the Netherlands, take control and go for quality. Do not choose a content sister who can make Instagram posts so nice, but choose independent specialists. Or as this copywriter puts it so beautifully: Lose the beehive and work directly with the honey.