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Jack Skeels

Member since December 2014Contact Jack

Jack is the CEO of AgencyAgile, Inc., is an operations and productivity training company whose high-impact 3-4 day workshops have provided rapid ROI and improved performance to agencies in the US, EU and Australia, Founded in 2011 by business and digital agency veterans, AgencyAgile training programs provide agency teams and their clients a system of values, culture, processes and tools that deliver superior results for all involved.

Articles by Jack All articles by Jack

  • Agencies are Killing Their Own Productivity in MAD on 02/28/2018

    Cast a businessperson's eye toward the new agency productivity report from the Agency Management Institute (AMI), and you'll be struck by agencies' toxic attitude.

  • How Good (Or Not) Are Your Agency Managers? in MAD on 12/19/2017

    Agencies have a lot in common with the NFL. Both are brutally competitive businesses that turn on making the most of the talent. They depend on management to elevate teams, but sometimes the managers make them worse.

  • The 3 Killer Mistakes Marketers Make With Agile in Marketing Daily on 01/12/2017

    Marketers understandably prize agility as their worlds spin faster. But they have to be very careful what they wish for in embracing agile as a methodology.

  • How Adland Lost Its Way (And How Some Agencies Are Finding Their Way Back) in MAD on 10/12/2016

    Our industry has plenty of headline-grabbing woes these days. Neanderthal executive behaviors, the ANA transparency investigation and ongoing brouhaha, dizzyingly frequent agency reviews, aggressive procurement organizations squeezing the last dollar, and the flight of talent to other industries - all talked about over and over. But there's another, bigger problem, the one that nobody is talking about.

  • Why Facelifts Won't Revitalize Agencies  in MAD on 06/02/2016

    Advertising needs a hot, double shot of espresso - not to appease disengaged Millennials but to wake up agency leaders to the new world around them. Their business is losing cultural relevance - and talent - by the week, especially traditional agencies and old-school digital shops. Yet rather than matching the seismic change in personal values and worker expectations, agencies are doubling down on the same old storytelling.

  • Your Client Problems Start With You in MAD on 01/25/2016

    The primary mediating characteristic of buyer-seller relationships is how risk is handled. Handle it well and your relationship will be a long one; handle it poorly and you're in review. When we ask agencies, "Who carries more risk in the relationship, you or your client?" the answer is almost always "we do." Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • Why Agencies Must Embrace A Millennial Mindset in MAD on 09/01/2015

    Just as the iPhone's wealth of features crushed your trusty old Palm Pilot, the Millennials are going to force a new generation of management techniques on agencies.

  • Averting The Coming Tragedy In Agency Procurement  in MAD on 07/08/2015

    Marketing has become an expensive bottleneck inside the world's largest and otherwise most sophisticated brands. Virtually every other business function has innovated and integrated into the cross-enterprise value chain, and increased its contribution to corporate profitability. In this regard, Marketing has largely failed.

  • Inhuman Trafficking in MAD on 05/21/2015

    Agencies need to replace the trafficking process with a team-based model. Instead of assigning piecework with instructions, managing output and translating to final result, you let the teams tackle the end objective together. Worker engagement, quality of work, speed of work, and client satisfaction rise dramatically.

  • Next Frontier For Digital Shops: The Art Of Management in MAD on 03/24/2015

    Agency growth is a nice problem to have. But sometimes it is a problem. Rapid growth can lead to mind-numbing chaos. Everything's an emergency with its own set of meetings, yet nothing gets done.

Comments by Jack All comments by Jack

  • Pepsi Sees The Light, Trashes Procurement Department, Agencies Rejoice! by Richard Whitman (Mediapsssst on 11/12/2015)

    Ah, welcome news.  As I pointed out in my July article on this topic, the use of procurement services for purchasing what are essentially strategic partnerships is completely mis-guided.  Link here: 

  • Agencies Won't Survive Without A 'Flatter' Operating Model by Steve McClellan (MAD on 10/01/2015)

    You can watch the video of this panel session here: 

  • Why Agencies Must Embrace A Millennial Mindset by Jack Skeels (MAD on 09/01/2015)

    Hi guys -- I think that you're missing the point: it is about both.  Execution matters more than ever...but it always has.  In fact, Millennials are different in a number of fundamental ways.  We recently heard from a senior agency exec (large, global holding company achor-type agency) that they surveyed their folks and a HUGE % of Millennials said they expected to stay less than one year.  THAT is different, eye-opening, and scary.     We consistently find that when we train agencies to operate from a Millennial mindset, everyone ends up embracing the change.  For example, a month or so ago, a 25+ year media veteran (boomer/Gen-X) told an entire agency he was more excited than ever before about his job and how he now gets to work WITH everyone.    Relying on a declining population of grey-haired senior firefighters to follow and adjust to encompassing changes in the consumer world is a dubious proposition.  More and more agency owners are realizing this now.  It is what we increasingly hear FROM agencies, not a message we’re creating.

  • Averting The Coming Tragedy In Agency Procurement by Jack Skeels (MAD on 07/08/2015)

    @ kevin: Agreed that agencies innovate in their work product (mobile, etc.), but there is very little innovation in the business process of delivering that work.  Agency managerial and operations processes are largely pre-1960's in style and effectiveness.  Also, corporations/brands do have cross-discipline value chains, but marketing rarely is part of that, nor effectively integrated.  Big point of emphasis in Forrester analysis during the last few years, for example.@Ed -- was not citing any agencies being caught pocketing fees...maybe in the comments, the "rebate" scandal in Steve's comment?

  • Next Frontier For Digital Shops: The Art Of Management by Jack Skeels (MAD on 03/24/2015)

    Yes, MASN, I agree. I was surprised at how persistent this is even when scaled up to 300+ person and beyond agencies. Was speaking with the leaders at a 600+ person outpost of a Very Big Agency and said, "...but I'm sure you've solved this...?" Uncomfortable silence followed.

  • Brian Williams And The Fog Of Ratings War by (Mad Blog on 02/06/2015)

    Well-written piece, Barbara! What I liked most is you lament (as I do) the loss of the center of our society to the forces of partisanship. This piece belongs in a policy publication it is so well done. Awesome!

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