Posted by Chris Handy ● February 12, 2014

Gimmicky Agencies OR Sales Wizards?

I just read an article on AdAge about a new agency in Sweden called the One Hour Agency. 

The gist of the article is that the agency promises quality ideas within the scope of a one hour meeting. That's "their thing".


Many of the commenters there were quick to call this approach "stupid" and "contraproductive".

After reviewing the copy on the One Hour Agency website, it looks like what they have really done is shortened the sales process and setting the expectation that a decision to move forward will be made by the end of the first hour meeting.

Many agencies spend countless hours preparing, traveling, pitching and stressing about what this agency is accomplishing in one hour. I believe that there is a tendency to "hold back the good stuff" in many pitches, and it looks like they are not doing that either.

True transparency in how this agency works and how quickly they can generate ideas will likely be a refreshing change for those clients who are used to the "big reveal" aspect of the agency selection process.

What many agencies do not realize is that the client really would rather get to the point. What the client of the future (or at least our ideal clients at my agency) are those that want to spend less time being "presented to" and more time collaborating on a solid plan.

 Below is how they break up the time in their meetings.


Any good creative or marketing work is research-based and needs to be based on real conversations with the client, their sales and service staff, and their customers. The blind "see if they like our snazzy idea" approach is for the agencies of old.

Clients seeking to work with boutique shops often do so based on their need for agility. I think that the One Hour Agency might just have the right idea. 

In fact, that is how we always start our sales process. In our case, we call this an Inbound Marketing Assessment. We really are following the same model. 

  1. We get to know you.
  2. We get to know your business and your goals
  3. We brainstorm a little together about what you have done in the past and what you plan to do in the future.
  4. We present inital ideas on what you might be able to do to get from the status quo to where you want to be.
  5. We find out if you want to further develop those ideas. 

Always_Be_Helping-1Our main goal in these assessments is to add value to the client's day. We always make sure to leave the client with actionable ideas and some resources to carry forward even if we decide not to continue the conversation. 

From where I sit, our model at Thinkhandy is not dissimilar to that of the One Hour Agency.

What do you think? Is the idea of the One Hour Agency a fad? Gimmick? Or are they on to something? Let me know in the comments.