The New Ad Agency Paradigm

Henry Alzamora
3 min readJan 25, 2022


It’s a thrilling time in the Ad Agency universe as it has gone through an evolution for the last decade and it’s not done yet. The overwhelming impact of the digital and social media world on the future scope of ad agencies has a drum that has begun to beat louder with each passing day. This is proving to be a new landscape for traditional ad agencies who are being forced to broaden their horizons. It’s no longer okay to just function as a basic ad agency.

So, with that said, what is the future of the ad agency? As noted, ad agencies are simply having to shed a bit of skin at this time to gain new life. The ever-growing digital world has led to diversification and complexities that ad agencies never dreamed were possible. Experts indicate that ad agencies will now have to recognize that the digital world and social media platforms are the core of their existence. In today’s market, many teams are upwards of 30 people, however in the future is indicative of teams that will be as small as five people and even virtual with the next virtual reality revolution including the Metaverse.

It is anticipated that there will be a 25% reduction in head count for holding companies in the next five to 10 years as a result of the ability of organizations to follow a more automated model of securing and distributing content and thus having subsequent impact on administrative roles.

In addition, the market is no longer ruled by large organizations. Smaller businesses have made their way into the landscape as they are able to meet the basic needs.

Ad agencies will have to be prepared to establish innovative strategies and campaigns that support strategic thinking and is capable of supporting an evolution of a strong marketing mix and growth within various markets and across multiple channels. They will also need to leverage data analytics in order to better understand the behavior of consumers and what captures their attention. Meanwhile, ad agencies will also have to bring down operational costs while broadening their scope at the same time so that they remain competitive with digital rivals in the marketplace.

Periscope is a great example of an ad firm that deployed “content labs” which are more budget friendly than traditional practices and they allow quick-turn videos, photos and other content that can be used on online and digital “newsrooms” for social media monitoring and planning that mimic what’s found in media organizations. This was far more cost-effective and time-efficient over trying to find a celebrity to fill an ad.

If they have not already done so, agencies will have to shift their thinking to more of a one-to-one approach in which the agency puts the buyer or reader first and not the brand. Agencies will need to partner with content agencies to secure content more than likely unless they create the in-house “content-labs” as referenced in the above Periscope example. The great thing about this is that content does not have to be original but can be repurposed to meet the needs. Content syndicators and publishers are another option that will need to be considered. Both are reported to have effective outcomes when leveraged in the right way.

Finally, ad agencies will have to work hard to attract and retain young talent and not lose them to competitors like Facebook or Google.