The Rise of the Dream Team
Bonnie Morris is the founder of virtual agency Company B, which handles PR, social media and branding campaigns. After a freelancing stint with a virtual PR agency, she realized the power of technology in assembling an awesome team.
From this experience, she decided to embrace the distributed team model as the foundation for her agency. For each client, she assembles a group of senior-level marketers, all of whom work virtually.
In an article on 99U, Scott Belsky of Behance predicted, “The advertising agency of the future will consist of…a tiny leadership team that provides creative direction. The creative production itself will be distributed to individuals and small teams around the globe who are at the top of their game.”
Morris agreed. “People who are successful at virtual work are generally responsible self-starters who aren’t distracted during the day. The people I collaborate with don’t necessarily want or need a 9-6 structure to do their work. We’re all pretty happy, even when we’re under deadlines and are jumping to fulfill client requests.”
How Virtual Creatives Work
While the agency runs an outside-the-box, lean operation, there’s still plenty of work that has to happen the traditional way. Henderson regularly logs miles traveling to client meetings and presentations.
Beyond that, Henderson said they tailor their approach based off the client’s needs and desires. We’re totally cool with them having direct, unfettered contact with any and all of the team. We’ve found this really helps in meeting the needs of the client with little or none of the accidental misdirection that happens when you have account staff running to and fro.”
Henderson then shared how they typically handle the initial idea generation: “A creative lead will brainstorm out some directions and then float them to their creative partner. They narrow it to one or two ideas that they share with me. I provide focusing guidance, and then we socialize it across the client team and solicit feedback.”
The Creative Muse of the Future
In a piece for AdAge, advertising exec Jeff Rosenblum noted that small agencies have a competitive advantage. “After 20 years in the advertising industry, there’s one thing I can say with great certitude: small agencies crush big agencies…In fact, it’s not even close.”
Both Red Rocket Connect and Company B have found this to be true. Clients look for agencies that can offer a wide array of resources and talent. Virtual agencies are best positioned to offer those resources. They’ve designed their business model to seamlessly connect with and source talent from around the globe, allowing them to work with the best people — not just the best people within commuting distance.