What a “full service” agency really means

November 5, 2020

This is a personal opinion with insights by our COO, Shawn McAskill.

Chances are, if you know me on any sort of personal or professional level, you’ve been subject to one of my diatribes over how much I hate the words “Full Service.”

Actually, “hate” may be too kind. Quick, to thesaurus.com! Ix-nay hate. Let’s try:

Loathe. Abhor. Detest.

In short, I strongly dislike the term.  

Nearly every advertising or marketing agency can lay claim to being “Full Service” (and they do). Nothing about it sets you apart anymore. Similar to “disruption” in Silicon Valley or “humidity” here in South Florida, the original meaning has long been lost.

More importantly, it doesn’t adequately communicate what I feel Keenability provides.

Full Service” doesn’t tell you how many of our clients have been with us for two, four, or even six years; nor how many we hear back from after extended time apart.

Full Service” doesn’t convey how far outside of scope we regularly go—whether constructing a one-off trade show booth by hand to deliver EXACTLY what our client wanted, or personally test driving a Porsche (or three) to ensure the most accurate content possible (I’ll admit, that one didn’t require much arm twisting).

However, where “Full Service” really sells us short, in my opinion, is in not communicating the priority we place on relationships. My name is permanently attached to Keenability—and vice versa. For me, this business IS personal. That’s why I emphasize transparency, honesty, and accountability above all else for myself and the #KeenTeam; and it’s what our longest-tenured clients have learned I expect from them as well.

While I make myself available at all times to each of our partners, thanks to our internal culture, the same bears true for every member of our staff. As time has gone on, I’m finding myself needed less and less in this respect, simply because one of the team has taken up the mantle, holding themselves to the same standards.

Clearly, those two words that have saturated my industry can’t capture what I just spent more than 300 espousing upon. Again, if you know me, you also know I could go on and on—but I won’t. At least not here.

Typically, this would be where I encourage you to read our numerous reviews and testimonials, or perhaps reach out to one of the businesses featured in our case studies. Instead, I’m asking you to contact me directly. Ask me tough questions. Try to stump me. Experience for yourself just how open my book can be—even if you have absolutely no intention of becoming a client of our creative agency. Over the course of one casual conversation, I guarantee you’ll quickly realize not only what makes us different, but how it’s contributed to our (and our partners’) success.

And THAT, to me, is what “Full Service” means at Keenability.

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