Taking the Agency Digital
When we think about the digital marketing sphere most of us do not picture traditional advertising agencies coming to mind, rather, we would probably think of specialist digital or interactive agencies fitting the mould.
That may have been true until recently, but the thinly veiled truth is that more and more advertising agencies are beginning to embrace the digital realm as our clients become more serious about the medium. In the past most digital work was campaign only and a lot of brands didn’t follow the “Always on” philosophy – That has all changed now, everyone wants to be on 24/7 and this requires something that only advertising agencies can deliver, total communication integration.
When you walk into an advertising agency’s creative department you’ll see someone working on a press ad sitting next to someone working on a TVC concept sitting next to someone working on the radio script. It makes sense for all of these people to work together since they’re working on the same campaign for the same brand, so why on earth would digital be any different? You don’t ask one agency to make your TVC, another to make your press and another to create your outdoor so why would you separate digital from the integrated communication mix?
There are two arguments that come to mind, the first is that advertising agencies lack the technical expertise to create digital assets, and the other is that advertising agencies don’t understand the medium because its not just another medium.
Yes, at this point not all advertising agencies are as lucky as us and they don’t all have the technical expertise to create digital assets but that’s not a big problem because all they would have to do is acquire a strong team of developers and that would fulfill the criteria. This being a financial investment, will differ from agency to agency as to the development teams’ strength. In fact most of the digital agencies that are popping up now days have very small tech teams and focus more on social media, which almost nullifies the tech argument and also creates an argument that only focusing on social media is leaving more than half of the digital possibilities for a brand off the table.
When you begin talking about knowledge of the (digital) medium pure digital and interactive agencies have a head start, simply because they’ve been doing it longer, but what do we really mean when we say “Digital Medium”?
When we first take the leap into digital we are usually concerned with all that is tactical; what can we do on Facebook, how can we bring traffic to our product pages and where is the best place to put banner ads? Answering these questions has been the laser focus of digital agencies, and they answer those questions well. But what do we do once we’ve gotten past all of that, what do we do once we have our social pages, our site and our apps? What do we do when we really want to connect with consumers and influence them? After all the only reason we market is so that someone will go and buy our product or service. This is where advertising agencies rule supreme, we are literally the rockstars of consumer insight and understanding, there is no one in the world who understands consumer connect better than we do. We know for a fact that brands believe in us when it comes to these things because no one would trust an agency with a multi-million rupee TVC production budget and put millions behind airtime unless you had that faith and trust in their ability.