A Collective of Specialists: How IDEAKLUB is Transforming the Agency Model

ideaklub exclusive interview with marketing magazine asia raihan hadi
In Picture (from left to right): Dinesh, Yasmeen, Guna, Syed Ahmad, Fendy, Syamimi and Syed Fero.

Think of an advertising agency and a generic image comes to mind: an office with rows of well-dressed Suits, a wacky creative department, and traffic, shuttling back and forth to ensure the work gets done to a (hopefully) high standard. 

Not the case with Ideaklub though. With an all new agency model, Ideaklub is set on transforming the way agencies operate right here in the heart of Malaysia. 

We jumped into a quick chat with the team at Ideaklub to find out more about this transformation.

Not the easiest task you’ve taken up, what led you to this moment?

At this point it’s needless to say that the agency has been disrupted by COVID as have all sectors of the economy, but the fundamentals remain the same. Whether in-person or online, agencies retain large overheads and a big staff count. They are a mass of people, working to get a high volume of work done quickly.

Around a year ago, we asked ourselves how this agency model could be improved. Specifically, could an agency still deliver outstanding creative work at a fraction of the overhead cost while providing a better experience for brand owners? From speaking to some of our own clients, we learned a few things:

  1. The most frustrating part of the agency experience for clients is not being close to the action. They want to be at the same table with the head creative, discussing ideas and concepts, but they spend 80% of their time with Account Execs who are just messengers;
  2. For this reason, clients are more inclined to opt for boutique agencies. They get more personal attention from creatives and less bureaucracy; and,
  3. They are also more open than ever to working with a variety of niche agencies across production, creative, talent management and more, instead of one or two 360 agencies.

Above all, there is a tension, a battle between the big agencies and the specialist upstarts, and all clients sit somewhere on the spectrum, deciding the right mix for them.

These insights got our brains stewing, and the result was IDEAKLUB.CO, an agency model that seeks to combine the benefits of specialist agencies with the convenience and capabilities of bigger market players. 

syed ahmad altimet ideaklub
Syed Ahmad, CEO of Ideaklub & Co-Founder of Svltan

So what is your transformative agency model?

Instead of an ‘in-house agency model’, IDEAKLUB operates a ‘collective agency model’. It combines the talents of three niche shops – Trinovik Labs in digital, Svltan in artist and influencer management and KDCo Films in video production – into one entity, giving our clients access to specialists and top creatives for every part of their 360 campaign. 

What’s more, each of our constituent companies have a long track record in the market, working with leading companies and often being the guys hired by big agencies to get the job done right. 

Sounds like you’ve cooked up a storm, tell us about these niche shops…

Trinovik Labs is an ambitious digital creative agency serving clients from startups to major brands both locally and internationally. They provide a full range of digital solutions that cater to clients’ modern needs, including website development, app development, digital marketing, IT managed services, and even consultancy in driving enterprise digital transformation.

Led by myself, Svltan is a talent management powerhouse that leverages deep links in the Malaysian entertainment scene to develop winning influencer marketing campaigns. Our catalog spans many well-known personalities and we also offer songwriting services (of course, how could I not!).

Lastly, KDCo Films bring a creative touch to video production, having worked on content that runs the gamut from long-form documentaries to TikTok content, and led by two executive producers with more than 23 years of experience in the industry.

Sounds great, how does it work in practice?

Well, for one thing, we’re all singing the same tune. When clients come to us, the top guys in each company come together to create a singular strategy, instead of working in silos. Gone are the times of separate departments.

When it comes to client servicing, we dispense with the rows of Suits and bring creativity to the fore, sharing ideas and refining them openly with clients in meetings. In fact, our meetings are more like ongoing creative workshops where clients bring input to the table.

And most importantly, we work smart and fast. Because we’re not managing 100 jobs at a time, lead times are shorter and we’re able to turn around ideas and concepts at the speed they should be turned around.

Pay us a visit at ideaklub.co and tell us what you think.

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