Schadenfreude is such an ugly emotion and failure of any agency should not be welcomed by anyone who knows how hard this business can be, but I can’t help being glad that Enfatico, the bastard child of Dell and WPP is no more. Perhaps some people lost their jobs or had career disappointments in which case I am sorry for them personally. But to make the claims that these guys did on their launch and to even call themselves an agency when in fact they were just a procurement driven, lowest common denominator home for the Dell business makes sympathy at this stage difficult.
Enfatico was never an agency. A collection of individuals brought together with the sole aim of satisfying just one client, with no organising philosphy, belief system, culture or shared history is not an agency; it is an outsourced comms department. How likely was Enfatico to challenge a brief, to risk the relationship…the only relationship they had…with new thinking? After a while, what experience from other current clients or industries could they bring? I have been a client myself and I know how frustrating it can be to work with agencies sometimes because they do have other clients and other priorities and sometimes you don’t think they care enough, or they just advocate their own solution/channel or don’t know enough about your business. But somewhere in all that other stuff is real value. Wisdom, a different perspective, other experiences, a certain detachment that brings perspective and people energised by the new challenge that you the client represent. If you are the only client you get none of that. Fear, alignment, speed of response yes, but you can get that from a well trained dog.
Terms and conditions excepted, the best people join the best agencies because there is an environment of challenge they think can bring out the best in them and can further their careers. Enfatico may have offered a job but what were the chances of a career? Very limited as it turns out. Bets on the next big client/Marcoms group that is going to do this and ‘blow-up preconceptions’, ‘build something that’s never existed before’, be a ‘truly integrated global marketing agency designed from the ground up to create value for our clients’ and totally fail everyone involved?