Oct 18 2012 Shawn Riegsecker Blog Strategy Simple Solution to Agency Efficiency If you haven’t yet seen Centro board member Andrew Swinand’s recent guest column in Advertising Age “Want to Win the Race to the Bottom? Don’t Invest in Tech” you’re missing out on one of the most prescient analyses of why agencies need to find new ways to raise their efficiencies and, in turn, their profitability. Andrew compares agencies’ challenges – media fragmentation, unprofitable new fee structures and digital media complexity – to how newspapers found themselves struggling when they realized that diminishing their product’s quality in response to years of not investing in technology was not a sustainable long-term strategy. His answer to the triple-threat flies in the face of the usual solutions of staffing up and working harder – Andrew suggested agencies move toward working smarter. “For savvy agencies, investing in technology is a start. This means using technology to increase efficiencies in workflow and media buying, so that agencies can be free to focus on strategy and ideas,” he wrote. “But technology requires capital, and with persistent pressure on profit margins, agencies are reluctant or limited in their ability to invest capital in innovation.” Exactly. Increasing efficiencies and profitability for agencies is Centro’s core mission (by the way, thanks for the mention, Andrew!). Centro believes prosperous ad agencies are critical to a strong and prosperous industry ecosystem. Yet, as Andrew points out, the many challenges are hurting advertising agencies’ health. We’ve all witnessed the explosion in media choices; today there are thousands of websites and vendors, making digital media buying complex and difficult to execute. Advertising agencies are tasked with finding the manpower, expertise and/or budgets required to deal properly with this level of operational complexity. But there is another way. Centro takes all the complexity out of buying digital media, giving agencies cost savings that they can then invest in their future. We provide the breathing room and profit increases that can empower agencies to invest in staffing up their data and analytics departments, upgrading their content creation and community management offerings, and increasing their employees’ ability to create happier clients. To Centro, simplifying digital media’s complexity is the key to improving not only agencies’ bottom lines but the industry as a whole. Are you ready to invest in technology and win the race to the top?