Blog +

The Real Question of Consultancy vs. Agency

by Meghan McDonnell, Wednesday, June 07, 2017

How’s your relationship?

This is the question I would ask any agency worried, or wondering if they should start worrying, about the rise of consultancies as advertising partners. Regardless of the deluge of press around consultancies, with headlines like, The Race Is On, who will “win” isn’t a question of consultancy vs. agency. It’s a question of who has the better relationship.

We all know consultancies boast the capital “S” Strategy and data acumen that marketing clients need. But transformational or divestiture strategy doesn’t necessarily translate into communication and creative strategy. And building a roadmap for marketing data platforms takes time. Consultancies are acclimating, but there is a learning curve.  Read More...

Creative, Marketing and In-House Staffing: An Update from Pile's Divisions

by Judy Neer, Thursday, May 11, 2017

Friends of Pile,

You often hear from me on Pile Consulting, but I thought I might share a few industry insights from two of our divisions—Communications Collaborative, our creative and marketing staffing arm, and IHAF, our professional association for in-house agencies.

As we move ahead in 2017, Communications Collaborative shares that we remain in a “candidate’s market.” So, what does this mean for employers? Read More...

5 Questions Clients Are Asking About Their Agencies

by Meghan McDonnell, Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The client-agency relationship is a funny thing. On the one hand, you have a uniquely close partnership predicated on trust, common ground and shared goals. On the other, you have a tenuous, fickle arrangement fraught with questions. And for a while, “questions” were viewed as the enemy of the client-agency relationship. If a client was asking questions, it meant something was wrong.

Today if a client isn’t asking questions, or an agency doesn’t understand why questions are being asked, something is wrong. A marketer should always be asking questions—for the good of their advertising investment and to stay competitive. Likewise, an agency should recognize that transparency is not only a cost-of-entry practice in safeguarding a relationship, but also one of the best ways to win new work.

So, in the spirit of bolstering productive, healthy client-agency relationships, here are five questions we’re hearing right now from our clients. Questions they want asked and answered as they assess current agency relationships or perhaps even look for a new agency partner in 2017. 


Meghan McDonnell Named President, Pile Consulting

by Judy Neer, Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Friends of Pile,

As 2016 winds down, I wanted to share some exciting news. I’m thrilled to announce that Meghan McDonnell has been named President, Pile Consulting.

Meghan has been with Pile for 17 years. She’s not just seen, but been in the thick of, the ebbs and flows of the marketing communications industry for the last two decades. As a result, she has a remarkably keen understanding of brands, the agency landscape and, of course, client-agency relations.

Meghan’s experience in this niche industry is one of the main reasons clients work with us again and again. She provides shrewd, unbiased counsel coupled with a deep knowledge of movements in the agency world and their impact on clients’ needs.

In her new role, Meghan will continue to lead our agency search, performance evaluation and agency compensation service areas, while expanding her leadership to cover all of Pile Consulting including agency model assessment, creative brief training, onboarding and organizational consulting.

I hope you join me in congratulating Meghan. As we come up on our 30th (!) anniversary next year, I can’t think of a better way for Meghan and Pile to move forward in 2017.

All the best to you and your families this holiday season.


What Clients Should Know About the ANA's Media Transparency Report

by Pile and Company, Wednesday, June 15, 2016

After the ANA released its report on media transparency, we fielded many questions from clients wondering how they should digest the findings and move forward with their own media partners.

Meghan and Dan share their advice in Ad Age.

Post Archive

Subscribe to The Brief +

Pile and Company provides agency search, agency performance evaluation, agency compensation, organizational consulting and executive search to global and national marketers.

Contact Us
© 1987-2017 Pile and Company, Inc.