If you wished that everytime you had a marketing problem, you could get marketing brains all over the world to “pitch” their ideas , you could choose the best one and only pay for the one you use, your wish has started taking shape on the web via www.bootb.com.
It will take many blows to the “agency” model for it to completely collapse. Big spending multinational clients will continue to want continuity in brand thinking and consistency in execution. However for the mid and small size businesses an ideas marketplace like bootb where you only pay if you use the idea while getting to choose from multiple solutions to your specific marketing problem/need, without paying high development costs/fees, can be very appealing. Even big brand names like LEGO, DISNEYLAND, PEUGEOT are already on the site with their briefs (Peugeot’s brief received 66 solutions).
This also has potential to bust whatever remains of the “creative” high ground occupied by the creative types. The next time your agency team comes with just one single concept/idea in response to your brief and tries to sell it to you as the right solution, while you shift and squirm in your seat thinking “can we see some more options, without breaking the bank”, you might be tempted to tap into bootb (incidentally bootb stands for Be Out Of The Box).
Freelance creatives and marketing consultants have existed for some time on the web offering their services at a fraction of the normal costs. Where bootb scores is, in giving clients a choice of solutions to the specific problem, at no incremental cost vs the fixed budget.
The bootb concept is like an agency “pitch” with no fixed cost, with no committment to give the business to anybody and no obligation to continue working with the winning “agency” in the future. You risk nothing (except perhaps the loss of confidentiality with respect to your coming marketing plans, as your marketing needs are there for anyone registered on the site, to see via the brief. For e.g, I know via bootb that Puegeot is launching the new 308 in March in Russia). Think about it.
Bootb cannot replace the assigned agencies for obvious reasons. However as a source of multiple solutions/ideas against a defined brief it is a good resource (even for agencies). While (just like the agency system) there is no gurantee you will get the right solution, the difference is if you don’t like anything you don’t pay anything (unlike the agency system where the time sheet meter keeps ticking). Given their revenue model (10% of the fixed budget as their commission) and low fixed costs, I reckon they will be profitable soon.
The site design of bootb is “creative” and quite different. I like most of it, except the background color (black), which not only makes navigation a bit difficult, but is also symbolically against the idea of “out of box” thinking. The black hat in the 6 thinking hats created by the creativity guru De Bono stands for caution. When you wear the black hat you try and see all the faults in a particular solution. But this is a minor executional niggle in what is essentially a great Idea!!