Stick to the Core

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George Caldwell and Ian Rafferty worked at a giant multinational advertising agency for ten years. After leaving their jobs, they have partnered, found and run Advaark, also an advertising agency, together for seven years. Several high-profile clients that they gained from their own reputation in advertising industry gave them a good start. Over time, they build trust and long-term relationship with their clients thanks to their core competency, the production of unforgettable ads. It is clear that Advaark gains its sustainable competitive advantage thanks to its experienced owners. It would be really risky if the company expands its business to strategy consulting field which neither of its owners has much experienced. However, such initiatives could bring more revenues to the firm and further grow Advaark development if successful.

In this partnership, Caldwell takes care of operational activities with his sharp taste of making advertising and his know-how. Meanwhile, Rafferty is the visionary and eager to strive for more. Conservative as Caldwell is, he is reasonable when worrying the currentemployees and current clientsof Advaark. If he agrees to let Rafferty takes the new lead to strategy management, the current employees might find it hard to adapt to a new cultural environment which involves not only advertisement creative skills but strategic management skills. This organizational culture change could deeply hamper Advaark’s labor force. Besides, Advaark could easily mess up with the current clients when it comes up with some projects that do not fit their overall strategies. To some small to mid-sized clients, that might not be a big issue because they do not have a clearly recognized identity. To high-profile clients such as those Advaark is dealing with, it might cause big troubles since Advaark does not have insight personnel in strategic management field.

Rafferty also makes his case pointing out the annual growth rate of marketing strategy...
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