What is an agency? It is a word we use often, this time hastily, sometimes superficially, and whose meaning we occasionally lose. Yet those who work in marketing, communications, and beyond deal with agencies all the time.
According to the dictionary, there are two main meanings of the term “Agency.” First and foremost, an agency is an enterprise whose purpose is to perform intermediary functions for the intake and handling of business of any kind. Second, an agency is an enterprise that offers a specific service to third parties. Basically, and wanting to make a long story short, an agency is a firm that performs very specific functions-brokering but not limited to- on behalf of other firms that do not possess that capacity internally.
In these dictionary lines, amazingly, there is not only the definition of agency, but also its history and its role in modern business. A role that is radically changing, transforming from intermediary, to problem solver, to consultant.
Why turn to an agency?
This question is only in appearance mischievous. Why should I turn to a third party to perform functions or tasks that serve to improve me or my business? The reasons, briefly are 4:
- Time/cost efficiency
- Support and scalability
First, competence. The specific agency knows how to do something that I or my team cannot do. If the need is specific and immediate and circumscribed, the agency solves the immediate problem by bridging that know-how gap. The agency has the experience, the knowledge, the resources to bring something to the table that was not there before.
Second is objectivity. As independent and autonomous, agencies are not bound by internal logic, are not influenced by the environment, and can afford the great luxury of being honest and transparent. This is an advantage especially in decision-making processes, where moves must be driven by data and knowledge rather than gut feeling or custom.
Number three: any agency-whatever type it is-should save me and my team time, energy, and therefore money. The agency breaks down the learning curve and detaches itself from the complexity of corporate life to focus solely on the task at hand.
Finally, support and scalability. Not all projects are the same, not all moments in the life of a business are the same. Agencies have the virtue of providing support and workforce during times of high load or need and of moving accordion-like, increasing or decreasing their input instantaneously.
How the agency is changing
As society, business and communication have changed, the agency has also had to adapt and change to remain modern. As mentioned in the opening, the agency has gone from intermediary to problem solver to consultant.
The typical role of the pure broker is that of the old real estate agency. Titius wants to sell house, Caius wants to buy it, the agency puts Titius and Caius in communication and retains a percentage from the transition. It is an important role, no doubt, but one that is in danger of disappearing as the advent of new tools disintermediates these needs and resets the distance between parties to zero. What’s the point of a travel agency if I can compare the prices of hundreds of flights almost instantly by myself?
The next natural step is that of the problem solver, that is, taking charge of the customer’s need and satisfying it in all aspects. In this the communications agency formed in the 1980s is a good example. Companies must have media relations, manage advertising, create imagery, and pitch to customers-all actions that are delegated externally and absorbed by those groups so well represented by so many TV serials.
However, when the supply in the market is extremely high, the operational possibilities almost infinite, and the potential trajectories numerous, problem solving must translate into consulting. The agency’s role shifts from purely operational to highly strategic. Armed with long experience, a proven network, continuous updates, and great relationships within the industry, the modern agency helps the brand with decision-making and navigation, perhaps later delegating operations surgically to extremely vertical studios and “boutique agencies.”
Being an agency today
For all that has been said above, being an agency today is not easy, although it remains an exciting, fun and ever-evolving task, as well as profoundly useful and sometimes decisive.
Nowadays, the agency must be competent, attentive but also very present and extraordinarily connected to the various parts of the industry in which it operates. Modernity, continuous research and curiosity are as indispensable as a rich contact agenda, a series of healthy and strong relationships and a very high specialization in one’s field.
For if the agency can afford the luxury of objectivity and independence, it must also accommodate the obligation of extreme competence and the burden of the correct answer in all circumstances.
The sports marketing agency
A sports marketing agency is no exception to the above: indeed, if possible it is now at the extreme end of specialization and consulting.
In a world mistakenly interpreted as easy as the world of sports, but actually full of pitfalls and specifics, thesports marketing agency has to fight a double prejudice: that this work can be done alone and without expertise (because everyone knows the sport anyway) and that of a consulting aspect that is still not always fully understood and shared.
The sports marketing agency today has the obligation of extreme verticality, because the world of sports is too vast and too multifaceted to claim to know it all, but also the requirement for all-around marketing, communication, and management expertise in order to be able to manage the areas of activation and reporting, as well as the fundamental areas of deal making.
For nearly 30 years, RTR sports has offered sports marketing consulting to companies and brands that want to use motorsports as an effective communication tool for their campaigns and strategies. We deal with tier-one motorsport,Formula 1, MotoGP,, Formula E, WEC and Superbike, because these are disciplines we are familiar with and have been successful in for decades.
For questions, information, and to understand how we can be of service to you, you can always find us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the contacts on this site