Adweek recently published an article regarding what advertising and marketing agencies should be doing this year to show their value in a time where their work can be commoditized. Meaning clients are buying digital marketing campaigns as they would office supplies. Digital ad design from here. Copywriting from there. Paper from here. Staples from there.
Interestingly enough, the writer points out that four global conglomerates consolidated their advertising with agencies that have creative, media, digital and data all in house rather than going with four specialty agencies handling each aspect of a campaign or project.
Hey, the band is back together, which is great news after advertising and marketing broke apart into siloed agencies years ago. Thus, the emergence of the digital marketing agency, the graphic design firm, the content marketing agency, the marketing consultant—all separate entities partnering together on client work.
Digital Marketing as a Core Focus
If advertising and marketing agencies are expanding their in-house scope of services once again, should you hire a marketing agency that focuses only on digital marketing? The answer is tricky since the best way an agency can demonstrate its value (which according to Adweek, agencies are supposed to be focusing on this year) is to have a core specialty, better at that specialty than any other agency. The answer should be “yes, you should,” right?
How does working with a specialized digital marketing firm play out in the real world? For global conglomerates, it can be fine. Lisa strategizes in St. Louis. Paul designs in Salt Lake. Ben writes copy in Kansas City, and Lisa may monitor activity, analyze traffic and report results or have Meredith in Minneapolis handle that; each being their own agency entity. Large corporations have the locations, staff and budget to handle a scattered team.
For other companies, it’s still a matter of location, staff and budget. Only their one or few locations means it’s easier to “shop local.” Staff members have other roles and responsibilities, managing digital marketing isn’t one of them. Budget doesn’t stretch to afford four different vendors, all working on one campaign, even if it is only one invoice to pay.
Who’s Really Driving the Train?
Uh, oh. Google pulled an ad because it didn’t meet one of its guidelines. Who handles that? The contact form on the landing page that a digital ad leads to isn’t working. Who fixes that? Did someone write, design and build a landing page to maximize leads from digital ads? If a prospect doesn’t convert the first time, who’s handling the retargeting campaign? Ultimately, is digital marketing tactics achieving set goals? Who’s driving this train? Lisa, Paul, Ben or Meredith?
The importance of a company’s performance in the digital realm cannot be underestimated. Not only has the pandemic made digital platforms the place to interact with prospects and customers, but also, it’s made it even more crowded. Digital marketing is essential and isn’t an island in a sea of marketing tactics, even though the rise of specialized digital agencies might indicate otherwise. The four global conglomerates consolidating all their advertising and marketing in one company is sure to set a trend toward full-service agencies. However, for smaller businesses, separating digital marketing from all else never made financial or logistical sense due to geography, staff numbers and budget size.
Big-Brand Marketing Strategies Scaled to Fit
For years, EAG Advertising & Marketing has hung its hat on scaling big-brand marketing strategies to small businesses. We were the first agency in Kansas City to dedicate outsourced marketing services to fast-growing, smaller companies. We say we didn’t invent outsourced marketing; we just made it better. By better, we mean demonstrating our value through our expertise in digital marketing, graphic design, marketing strategy, search engine optimization, media buying and more, working holistically on behalf of our clients’ businesses and organizations.
If you want to dive deeper into digital marketing and how it can and should integrate with other tactics, let’s do that.