Are Ad Agencies Doomed?

Are Ad Agencies Doomed? — No. But.

images doomClearly a large segment of the ad agency business has moved to automated advertising and design.

I’ll start with Google, Facebook and Twitter. They all have automated the placement of advertising. Others too. That means that billions of ad placement dollars have moved to the web. But you know that. 99 Designs delivers logos for $99. You know that too.

If you watched the Super Bowl, you saw that web tools like SquareSpace are automating the design of websites thanks to the Jeff Bridges commercials.

Now, There’s The Grid.

The Grid is the first artificial intelligence platform that creates websites. Sounds cool to me. Tweet this

Does The Grid Spell Doom?

The Grid hasn’t launched yet but is getting attention. Here is what TechCrunch says:

Designing a good-looking website has never been easy, and while many services promise to let you build a site without ever having to touch any code, you quickly reach their limits if you want to have a more advanced site. The Grid, which is launching its crowdfunding campaign today, promises to do away with all of this. Instead of designing your site pixel by pixel yourself, The Grid team wants to use artificial intelligence to design your site based on your content and goals (more followers, more customers, higher sales, etc.).


According to The Grid’s front page, 19,931 people have signed up for its website builder as of 2-2-15 at $8 per month. The toolset is not even up and running. That’s $1,913,376 to The Grid. And, that’s cash that they are using to build what it seems LOTS of people want. Watch the video and hear their message:

“AI Websites That Design Themselves.” Sounds pretty good to me.

Good and Bad Implications For Advertising Agencies.

Here are 4 key implications.

Bad: Some lower end business clients will shift to The Grid, as they have to tools like SquareSpace. Sorry.

Good: Agencies can use The grid to bang out micro-niche websites for themselves to attract clients in specific categories.

Good if… you are good: Agencies, AGENCIES!, should be building tools like this so they can get away from being stuck in the low margin world of fickle creative-by-the-hour project clients.

More good: Wow, agencies, smart ones, could use crowdsourcing to build these tools. There is money out there.

Go forth and build.

If You Are Wondering If Ad Agencies Can Build SaaS Solutions…

Check out Opal, one of Portland’s fastest growing companies. It was hatched in an ad / digital agency.


Opal — Collaborative Planning for Brand Marketing Teams


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.