I mentioned in my first news post that I had called the company Zeal Media Ltd from inception as I always wanted to take Zeal full service. That belief has only grown and I think for agencies to stand the test of time we absolutely have to expand quickly to ensure we are truly seeing the full picture from an advertising prospective. Specialist agencies are born from exactly that….a specialism.
Online Advertising used to be a highly specialist skill that was not understood or embraced by all. Small boutique agencies opened up offering “search marketing” or “affiliate management” and pitched to Marketing Directors who were fascinated and sometimes a little baffled by what was said. Good agencies delivered campaigns that blew press and TV out of the water in terms of response and a PPC campaign couldn’t fail to deliver just by turning it on! Online was (and still is) the direct response hero and certainly for any e-commerce clients very quickly moved from a “nice to have” to the foundations of the marketing schedule.
I used to go to pitches with offline departments where the marketing teams would nod and smile to the TV buyers (they’d seen it all before) only to be blown away when I presented the online options (I’d like to think it was my presenting skills but perhaps not). Marketing teams had experience in TV and Press and Outdoor, online was new and exciting. Fast forward a few years and oh how the tables and turned! If we now pitch with offline agencies I get the nods and smiles and the offline agency are treated to the “WOW! You can actually put a poster on a billboard??!” reaction.
Online is no longer any more a specialism than TV or Press and as such digital only specialist agencies will miss something…Integration. For a client there is surely nothing more appealing than being able to go to one agency that are experts in all areas, have specialist staff but are also able to deal with all their requirements. One agency that splits the budget based on results not profit and can actually understand the relationship between offline and online. At the moment we deliver this with a fantastic offline sister agency but in the future we want, no have to deliver this ourselves.