Understanding Agency Global Capabilities

Chris Tuleya - correct version260How much do global offices of larger agencies really collaborate on a global piece of business? Not surprisingly, it has a lot to do with how the bigger company is structured and things may not always be as they seem.

When an agency says they have feet on the ground in other countries in a global pitch, it should immediately raise a number of questions and cause a deeper dive into specifics by clients. At Underscore we have a team in the EU that is fully dedicated to supporting the team and clients in the states, but they also offer the ability for us to understand trends and topics in Europe and Asia by experience versus reading about them in the trade pubs. We work as a team, sitting just feet away from each other and not like separate companies with separate P&Ls assisting each other. This approach allows us to successfully lead global business from a central location but also provide support on the ground. Having a global footprint that is a partner and not just another office can be advantageous and an important distinction to understand.

Here are some other advantages we get from our EU office:

1. Extension of the work day. With teams in multiple offices all working towards the same goal on the same pieces of business, you truly do extend the workday for clients. A six-hour difference means our team in the EU can analyze and react to data and performance metrics quicker. This helps the teams prioritize our efforts and streamline the time it takes us to react and make recommendations that are valuable to our client’s business. When teams in different offices are working toward separate goals, this time advantage is lost.

2. Ownership. Resources all working toward the same objective creates a sense of ownership regardless of location. That ownership will result in an increased desire to run successful campaigns for clients. When objectives and focus are divided, the teams are not cohesively working towards the same goals and success may become less of a priority. It is important to understand how agency teams work together to understand what ownership the various hands that touch the campaigns have.

3. A different perspective. Sometimes the worst approach agencies can take is having a single voice or point-of-view when evaluating client objectives. Teams with a true partnership globally can bring a fresh perspective when they have that sense of ownership. Different and fresh views ensures the recommendations we make are the best ones and have our client’s best interest in mind. With separate P&Ls, global offices may not always bring that fresh thinking.

Showing a map with pins of global locations is no longer enough when discussing global capabilities. Understanding exactly how those teams will work together on a piece of business is integral.

Chris Tuleya is Vice President, Direct Response, at Underscore Marketing, a firm that creates and manages integrated marketing programs for health and healthy brands.