Does Bigger Necessarily Mean Better?


Something we heard a number of times at the ICCO Global Summit in Dublin last month is that ‘bigger is better’. John Saunders, Global CEO of FleishmanHillard Fishburn presented his thoughts about the advantages of holding-company owned agencies. Barbara Bates, CEO of Hotwire argued from the other side of the agency divide, with her talk “Size won’t matter” showing that small and mid-size agencies come with their own unique set of talents.

Both large and small organisations have their place in any industry. There are clear advantages and disadvantages on both sides. The reassuring feel of a proven global brand with the backing of a larger parent company is a big draw for many. Smaller subsidiaries are often at the cutting edge of new techniques and possess much greater agility to enable them to react faster to change. Both offerings can deliver access to market leading talent with personnel often headhunted and regularly seen moving between close competitors.

Technology, connectivity and networking are creating more and more opportunities and enabling disruptive organisations to enter the market. Vitreous World is proud to count itself among them. We are privileged to support businesses of all sizes and see the strengths in both, but our own success is attributed to years of industry expertise combined with a fast responsive and agile structure.

I have provided below a few thoughts to add to the discussion that size doesn’t, and shouldn’t always matter:

Agility and Collaboration: Smaller agencies often have less red tape to get through, they can move fast and cherry pick expertise and partners to deliver the best outcomes for their clients on a case by case basis. Increased flexibility improves collaboration and they are not restricted by the financial need to sell proprietary products or deliver volume to meet the conditions of preferred supplier agreements. Working closer with a smaller team develops better partnerships that maximise the ability to leverage new opportunities and over time become an extension of your own team.

The Personal Touch: This is a passion for us all at Vitreous World. We know that everyone has to balance the pressure to deliver with many other responsibilities, not to mention all the emails that arrive each day. The human element in the chain can get lost, and with it the opportunity to have some fun along the way. Taking care to remember the person behind the project is something everyone should be doing whether they are in a large or small business – nobody wants to feel like they are part of a mail shot with only the name changed at the top.

Creativity and Bespoke Solutions: Something else that all sizes of business should be providing is creativity. Trust your employees and challenge them to come up with creative solutions where ever possible. ‘Empowerment’ is a huge factor when it comes to creating a positive work environment. Enabling people to grow and feel safe and supported to try new things is paramount. Embracing this approach is highly likely to revolutionise your business on many levels. Having a culture built around creativity goes hand in hand with the ability to create bespoke solutions for your clients – no two clients are the same, equally no two projects will be the same. There’s no harm in having a defined offering, but even being able to display agility and flexibility is a win-win for everyone involved.

We would love to hear what you all think on the subject, is bigger better? 

This article was written by Bex Grove – Insight Consultant