2018: 35 Reasons to up your game

If you are a glass-empty kind of person, then I would reach for the Prozac now.

The following list of external pressures (real or potential) on your agency cannot be ignored:

  1. Brexit – creating uncertainty for all business, clients, and partners
  2. Trump – see above
  3. Rising cost of digital staff
  4. Increasing costs in running business
  5. Increasing numbers of clients going bust or paying late
  6. Cheap, cheap prices from growing supply of off-shore alternative suppliers
  7. Over-crowded marketplace with low barriers to entry
  8. The inability of agencies to get on top of their own costs and utilisation rates
  9. The inability of agencies to understand strategy, marketing and people in their own business. And finance.
  10. The inability of agencies to understand what clients really want
  11. The overwhelming banality of every agency wittering on vaguely about value for money and their unique culture
  12. Possible levies and taxes for trading outside of Europe
  13. The continuing downward pressure on price demanded by advertisers with similar pressures
  14. The increasing power of what is a duopoly of Google and Facebook
  15. The increasing power of Amazon countering the standard PPC model and demanding a different business model for clients
  16. The growing number of claims that key platforms manipulate the marketplace for their own ends and don’t police content effectively
  17. Increasing anti-capitalism and anti-advertising movements
  18. The rise of Craft/bohemian/alternative lifestyles
  19. The rise of brand as an alternative to performance agencies
  20. AI, bots, etc making agency work much more efficient than using staff
  21. The rise of the use of effective adblockers
  22. Cheap apps to replace agency activity
  23. The rise of messaging as an alternative to the big platforms
  24. Alternative search engines
  25. GDPR
  26. EU e-commerce legislation
  27. Freelancers undermining your staff
  28. Millennial staff with little long-term loyalty of commitment despite what they say
  29. Hopelessly out of touch agency owners stuck between Generation X and the millennials not getting their clients or their staff
  30. Marketing agencies absorbing digital
  31. Management consultancies absorbing digital
  32. No playbook
  33. Still using old models to look at the future
  34. The declining reputation of agencies in the eyes of their clients
  35. Every distraction you can remember

What have I left out?

Pick any five and figure out how you are going to deal with them