What is the optimal organizational structure for developing ad campaigns at agencies? The answer is often subjective—informed by points of view of the different roles within the agency. Although agencies can deploy their service-level resources flexibly, “not all structural configurations lead to the best outputs,” according to a study in the Journal of Advertising Research.
The researchers examined 554 ad campaigns by conducting field interviews with ad-agency professionals at 31 firms, representing 75-80 percent of billings for markets in Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland. They learned that:
The authors also reported that their results support previous findings that larger clients equate to less original work relative to small accounts and medium or large accounts, yet
Huw O’Connor is an organizational consultant and teaching fellow in the Waikato Management School at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. His research focuses on the creative process, especially the roles of structures, interpersonal dynamics, and the absorption of informational resources. His advertising creativity work appears in the Journal of Advertising and the Journal of Advertising Research.
Mark Kilgour is a senior lecturer of marketing in the Waikato Management School at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Over the past two decades, Kilgour has worked throughout Southeast Asia and Australasia in both private consultancy and academic positions. His current research focus includes creativity and innovation, social media, and omnichannel retailing. His creativity research has been published in a range of journals, including the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Advertising Research, and Creativity Research Journal. His creativity framework has been taught in Singapore, Germany, Malaysia, and New Zealand and was the basis for his doctoral thesis and two books.
Scott Koslow is professor of marketing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. His current research interests include advertising creativity, strategy, and effectiveness. He also researches cross-cultural issues in both advertising and services, as well as “big data” and research methods. His research has appeared in the Journal of Advertising Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Advertising, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and elsewhere. He has received the Best Article Award of the Journal of Advertising and the Journal of Advertising Research’s 2015 Great Mind Award for best reviewer.
Sheila Sasser was SWOCC fellow at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and professor of marketing, international business and IMC at the Eastern Michigan University College of Business, Ypsilanti, Michigan. At the time of her death in 2017, she was also visiting professor at the University of Michigan; Michigan State University; Stockholm School of Economics; and Imperial College, London. As Ronald Collins Research Distinguished Faculty, she was adviser for the Eastern Michigan University Center for Digital Engagement. Her teaching and research areas included global creative message strategy, digital marketing, social media, multichannel media, advertising culture, and IMC. She served on several editorial boards and as a special issue editor and won numerous best paper awards and distinctions for service.