The Future of Web and Design Agencies 3/17/2017

Friday, June 16th, 2017 | Musings | photonics

I came across an interesting article a few weeks ago that I wanted to share. It’s about the future of agencies in our digitally connected world. Because of technology, we can connect anytime, anywhere. Not surprisingly, many people are choosing to work outside of the typical nine-to-five office environment. They are investing time and energy in themselves and their talents, becoming experts in numerous facets of marketing, technology, programming and communications.

Clients are now calling for teams consisting of an infinitely diverse list of specialists. To hire these folks full-time, when you may only need them on a single project, is both counterproductive and costly. Additionally, many of these specialists want to remain independent from an “agency.” Trading in the traditional route of scaling a business by hiring more employees, agencies are forming networks of contracted experts who can “coalesce into flexible project teams to cooperate on specific projects. Combing skills and resources, they then disband once the project is complete.” In other words, it’s incredibly beneficial for the client if you collaborate with specialists on a project-by-project basis, delivering what’s needed to get the job done right.

I was excited to read this article, as Photonics has been moving toward this work model for the past year. My Director of Development, Tom Hutchinson, and I have begun pulling in experts to collaborate on specific projects for clients. Our Photonics team delivers on our expertise (design and programming), while working alongside a specialist who brings a separate set of skills to the project. Rather than hiring full-time, we’re collaborating with amazing talent in the fields of social media, SEO, content creation, strategy, packaging, and more. We pull them in on specific projects based on a client’s need, and then disperse until another opportunity comes to the table. At the end of the day, this really helps the client. It’s been enlightening (and cost effective) to watch this transformation within my company. While I genuinely appreciate our internal team of designers, programmers and project managers, I recognize the value in pulling additional specialists from the outside when needed. Instead of hiring more full-time employees, uncertain of how long we’ll need them, we’re focusing on building a network of experts outside of our four walls, who are available to collaborate when it benefits our clients.

In our fast-paced, digitally connected world, we’re moving toward the “agency of the future.”