One of my most active relationships is that where I represent FSI in the membership of IN, the largest network of independent advertising agencies in the world. I was elected to the Board this time last year and it has been a challenge, primarily because of the demands on time (and you dont get paid).
Some of our agencies are very well known. Duncan Channon for example, just won the global esurance account and also have the global Hard Rock Cafe account. Eric Mower Associates also have the Kodak account as well as ran the I love New York Campaign. Our Japanese counterparts have the Nikon Camera account.
Dominica seems like a dream to them given our size. Though FSI represents the Caribbean we are of course the smallest agency even when you take in regional campaigns and projects.
We are currently trying to win at least three accounts jointly with other IN agencies and that is an interesting exercise.
The current one is tourism accounts. There is an irony in it, but we are currently working with Total Media, our UK counterparts to try to win some Caribbean tourism accounts. Total Media pitches the account, and then we get to do much of the ground work which mitigates against their biggest weakness. They dont know much about the region.
WHile having a big agency buy media etc is useful, an agency like FSI can buy through global buyers who are often stronger than any creative agency that say Dominica Tourism are exposed to.
I often think that seeing the same people who are deciding on the account daily passing you in a vehicle in a small island is not a good way to get a multi million dollar account. Its just difficult to pass that money locally especially when there are perceptions about who you are and how large you might get (its real folks). I understand that challenge.
So more and more we are pitching through other entities.
Sometimes you just have to recognise what works.