Perspective - Navigating rising costs and collaborative evolution in 2024

By Alistair Pratten | 15 December 2023
Alistair Pratten.

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

I think we can all agree that challenging markets globally have made for a changeable 2023, and looking ahead to 2024, the market conditions of rising cost of living and its impact on marketing budget both in scale and availability are likely to continue. However, for agencies willing to lean into collaboration and evolving their operating models there is still value to be had, and in fact, this new-age agility can be a real differentiator for brands faced with the hard reality of less dollars to meet growing targets.

Production partners

With the cost of goods set to rise in 2024 coupled with contracting marketing budgets, agencies and production partners will have to work closer than ever. As an industry, we need to be willing to collaborate with our partners much earlier in the process to help alleviate the added pressures of smaller budgets, varied and digital-led deliverables, and condensed schedules to not just find suitable creative solutions but brave outcomes for our clients.

To add to this, we must be willing to explore new partnerships in an ever-growing and evolving talent pool here in Australia and internationally to surface that added ‘Value’ which will be a key term in 2024.

Open to different ways of working

As we enter 2024 I think you'll see more and more clients, especially challenger brands, adopting in-house capabilities: with these new internal teams supported by strong agency backgrounds. This means we’ll need to adapt to their more hybrid client-agency ways of working. In particular, being able to offer valuable, collaborative, and fast responses will be vital to further boosting the benefit of external support.

As an industry, we need to get better at streamlining the process; from initial client briefings, through to creative and output – let’s be bold in thinking straight off the bat, and unafraid of asking the questions of the consumer.

Looking Back at 2023 - The rise of Indies

From the creative work to major client wins – Indie agencies were operating on another level this year. With quicker reactions, great one-on-one client relationships, and an adaptive approach to  ways of working it’s no wonder Indie’s are tackling client briefs with exceptional outcomes.

I expect this momentum to continue through 2024 as brands increasingly look to nimble solutions that are great for customers and easy on the bottom line with the agencies they work with. 

Alistair Pratten, Director of Operations at Today the Brave


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