When we started up as an advertising agency in 1995, we were a virtual agency. We just didn’t know it at the time.
We thought of our business model as modular: As a strategic partnership of independent, highly qualified professionals in just about every advertising and marketing service a client might need – but only when the client needed them. That way, we wouldn’t have to rent office space, furnish it, equip it, light it, heat or air-condition it, connect it to phone lines and the Internet. As you might expect, this lowered our overhead drastically – and we were able to pass those savings along to our clients.
If a client was running a radio campaign, for example, the last thing they’d need would be an art director, graphic designer or print production manager. So unlike an old-model, conventional ad agency, that client wouldn’t have to pay for them.
If all the client needed was brochures (or, later on, websites, sponsored links and social media), they didn’t need a department full of media planners and buyers. And they wouldn’t have to pay for them, either. (What’s more, they’d pay just 90% for commissionable media instead of full rate-card rate.)
And if they were just running newspaper ads or direct mail (email blasts later on), there’d be no need whatever for a broadcast producer. And therefore no need to bill a client for one.
Today, we still follow that business model – but on a much broader scale, thanks to Internet technology. Our modular setup became virtual as well, letting us bring standout creative work, outstanding results and significant cost savings to clients from Jacksonville, Florida, to Vancouver, British Columbia; from Providence, Rhode Island and Brooklyn, New York, to Phoenix, Arizona.
So each and every one of your hard-earned marketing dollars goes where it should – not into overhead that subsidizes some other client’s marketing services, but into building outstanding marketing results for you.