The changing face of the agency and why smaller agencies are becoming more competitive

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In the world of marketing and advertising, something exciting is happening. There is an undercurrent of smaller, fast moving, driven and largely independent agencies quickly dominating the pitch lists of the very best, adding increasing levels of pressure to some of the world’s most renowned agencies.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed. The signs of this shift-change have become increasingly evident over the last few years, both in how agencies have responded, but also how customer requirements have changed.

At a time when attention spans are declining, and while technology is changing the landscape of how consumers interact with the world around them, brands need to respond faster, smarter and more effectively than they ever have before.

In response to this, we have seen some of the larger more traditional advertising agencies undertake an exercise of merger and acquisition to remain competitive, adding smaller more specialised agencies to their collection. Larger management firms and consultancies are also adapting to this change, Accenture acquired Karmarama in 2016  (the start of many acquisitions for the company), and the tremors do not stop there.

Such is the rate of change, that larger agencies are responding with a real shakeup in the structuring of their leadership. Senior stakeholders departing the business can be unsettling for existing customers as larger business decisions are being made on their behalf. For example, following the departure of its Chief Executive, Anette King, and its accompanying restructuring, Ogilvy has offered its employees voluntary redundancy and dropped some of its own agency brands. What does this mean for its existing clients?

This may be one reason why brands are now turning towards smaller agencies to assist with their marketing. Not only are lines of management less complex, but a compact and more focused team can become more nimble to industry changes and where their client must sit to remain competitive.

The benefits of a smaller agency do not stop there. At onebite for example, we keep all lines of communication open across the agency. When we enter a project or form an account team, we do not silo the work into one department. Multiple team members from across the business are involved in brainstorming sessions and will ultimately bring different ideas to the table. This allows us to provide a holistic view of what should be executed and why, whilst giving our clients access to the experts across the marketing spectrum.

This collaborative approach ensures the delivery of smart and strategic work. In a time when it’s harder than ever for brands to be heard, our specialised skillset and drive to make our client output a success, shines through our work.

The landscape of marketing and advertising will remain in flux for years to come, so it’s important to ensure the team you take with you are prepared to adapt to it – and keep your best interests, and business at the forefront.

We’re an integrated agency that delivers smart and strategic work for our clients – whether big brand or startup. If you’re interested in hearing more about how we can help you, please get in touch at

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