You pay big bucks
for the big guns
We make sure the peashooters
aren’t left to advance the cause.
The Q Group gives you a better chance. Our work is better
because 1) our people are better; 2) our structure is uniquely
In advertising agencies, bigger is not necessarily better. Given that agencies exist to create, produce and place advertising, you'd expect them to concentrate their efforts on those matters. Not so.
In most large agencies, more income is consumed managing the process than goes into building the product. Typically, the process is handled via an account service pyramid, a bloated structure involving as many as five or six levels, from account coordinator to president.
To pay for such largesse, agency service departments, e.g. creative and media, are bled of talent, or numbers, or both. Clients who deserve the efforts of seasoned talent are too often fobbed off with the work of junior lights; agency top bananas materialize at reviews, presentations and other show-the-flag occasions.
You end up with something like the glass pyramid you see here. Pretty, but not too functional – except for putting the tri-components of the work on a pedestal, that is.
Unfortunately, the chances of a small agency being good at everything a client needs are next to nil. A mid-sized shop? Well, there aren’t many of those left; deemed neither one thing nor the other, they have mostly withered away. So how do you get the best of both worlds?
Let’s look again at the dollar-crunching pyramid, with its bottom rows symbolizing the large amount of work done; the upper rows reflecting the scarcity of senior involvement. Now click on the pyramid and, hey presto! The typical advertising agency structure is placed on its head and you have the solution: The Q Group structure. The resources of the organization are placed where they oughta be – developing the product.
At The Q Group, our structure is more effective. Senior people do the work and provide the counsel. Very little goes into the servicing of the account – enough to provide a solid foundation for the rest of the work, but it’s a small portion of the overall budget.
We also recognize there are some services that our clients don’t need all the time (print production management, media planning, ropes courses – part of the leadership training, not corporate noose building, etc.) – and so don’t have them on our payroll all the time. A little over ten years ago we forged strong alliances with companies that are recognized leaders in their field and bring them in as and when required. Many of them carry The Q Group logo on their business cards; all also run successful businesses separate from The Q Group.
To our clients, it is seamless. There is one point of daily contact (though all Q Group members are readily available to clients whenever needed or requested) and one point of billing. “Ex-house” resource services are invoiced (at cost) through The Q Group as part of the normal budget reconciliation process.
Since we started this process, we have been held up as the example to emulate in this new brave world of ours.
Back to our pyramid. As you saw, when you flipped it over you got something far less pretty on the surface, but very functional. It’s also based on the three things (i.e. that’s why it sits on a triangle) that make for solid work – work that achieves results for clients: 1) solid marketing strategies resulting from strong business acumen; 2) dynamic, impactful creative; and 3) effective, efficient processes (from strong database marketing to lean account servicing).
And, if you were to insert a candle in what is now a candlestick, and place match to wick, you would have a business model that lets the light of the work shine out. Corny? Yeah, but oh so true.
That’s how we manage to produce work of outstanding quality and results at underwhelming rates. As for the “why”, well…
We’ve been in the business a long (long) time and we are passionate about what we do. In the 70’s we decided it made the most sense to concentrate our efforts on the work (strategic thinking coupled with dynamic creative). Our clients seemed to think this makes sense too. They still do – and perhaps you will, too.
To read the acclaimed agency (short) satire, "Life in the
Fast Lane: The Media Bash", please