Bamboo Crowd, a leading recruitment consultancy for the innovation industry, explores six “hub and spoke” companies that are disrupting the traditional Agency space, from distributed networks of talent to curated and bespoke teams. The questions is, how will agencies adapt to these new distributed network models? And are there learnings and insights they can take from these trends that will help them adapt in an increasingly competitive market.

When Malph Minns thinks about tennis professional Andy Murray, he thinks about the building blocks that went into making him an elite athlete.

“Early in Andy Murray’s career, he asked himself, what support and expertise do I need to help make me the world’s number one tennis player? The answer he arrived at was a sports psychologist, a nutritionist, a trainer, someone to manage logistics, and a coach to help with his technique,” Minns said. “Traditionally, players hire an ex-player that tries to serve all of those needs. But one person can’t have the level of expertise needed to deliver all of this effectively and to an optimum level.”

Minns translates this into his role with Strive Sponsorship and to agencies in general. “If you want to deliver a gold medal or a grand slam for your client, what are the component parts needed,” Minns asked. “When you translate this to business, that’s what defines success for our clients. What are they trying to achieve? Not the activities but the outcomes. Subsequently, you identify the expertise and activities needed to give the best chance of success.”

Enter the changing world of marketing, advertising, strategy, and design agencies, in which firms are adopting “distributed network” or “hub and spoke” models to curate virtual or in-house teams of talent. Rather than hiring a traditional agency, typically one tied to a big network, brands are discovering companies with these distributed networks of talent that can be plugged in to create solutions.

Strive, for example, recognises that parts of a client brief often fall outside of traditional agency expertise, but it can be cost-prohibitive for agencies to bring in the right third parties. So, when needed, Strive aggregates the market’s knowledge and skills and taps a network of specialist partners to supplement its own expertise.

It’s an exciting disruption. Bamboo Crowd spoke with six agency founders and directors to learn more about some of the latest trends and models in the U.S. and the U.K.

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This article was first published on Bamboo Crowd’s website on 10th July 2019.

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