The future of digital marketing agencies has been the topic of many discussions in the industry, but there’s no clear answer. What will digital marketing look like in the years to come? Will agency services still be needed in a world of machine learning and artificial intelligence? To help you get ahead of your competition, here are some changes we’re expecting to see and how they could affect your business going forward.
Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better?
The ad agency model as we know it is under attack by digital agencies and there’s no better time to adapt. Most agencies are set up to fail when it comes to digital. It’s a completely different way of doing business, which makes an established shop less valuable than ever. Many digital marketing companies offer a wide range of services that include campaign management, search engine optimization (SEO), mobile marketing and more, which gives clients access to a wider variety of expertise than most traditional agencies can provide. Companies focused on a single service are often too small or inflexible to handle a problem that isn’t within their scope of work. Instead, they recommend you send business elsewhere.
Moving Beyond Traditional Agency Structure
Let’s face it. Traditional advertising agencies are a thing of the past. Digital marketing and social media has changed everything about how consumers behave. The days of companies paying for ads or handing over their entire marketing strategy to an ad agency is long gone (if it ever existed). Many digital marketing agencies have eliminated positions like account managers, held salaries down and focused on high-quality in-house talent to create a leaner, more efficient business model. The industry has evolved beyond traditional agency structure, which is exactly why they’ll adapt again if they haven’t already. It would be a waste not to make use of such expertise when you have employees who can offer so much more than an outside firm could ever hope to provide, right?
How to Get Their Attention and Build Relationships
Most of us know where to get ideas for digital marketing promotion. There are many different ways to go about it, but most agencies employ social media in some form or another. When deciding which forms of social media will best suit your business and industry, you have a variety of options. Most digital marketing professionals use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Pinterest when promoting their brands on social media sites.
How Smaller, Niche Firms Can Compete?
In a recent post, The Brand Deli’s contributor, Jared Smith asks whether independent branding agencies will have to find innovative new ways to survive in an industry that is looking for consolidation. As agencies increasingly focus on brand consistency rather than community culture, Smith says one way these smaller firms can compete is by shifting focus from identity systems and taxonomy-driven deliverables toward more customer-facing design. In other words, they need to stop treating clients like museums and start treating them like retail shops. (Source: The Verge)
Agency Core Competency
Digital marketing agencies that don’t maintain their core competency can be swept up by competitors. For example, an agency’s technical competency could become outdated quickly if they fail to hire new employees with modern skillsets, or existing employees leave and aren’t replaced. However, technical skills are also important in building a company-wide culture that is responsive to client needs and effective at sharing knowledge. The best digital marketing agencies balance technical and core competency expertise, so they can leverage both new technologies and current relationships with their clients.
Hiring For Diversity And Transparency
Diversity makes for more creative and innovative teams, but companies need to keep in mind that it’s not enough to simply hire diverse people; they also need to value them. You can boost your digital branding by creating a transparent hiring process. A company should hire people who are both talented and smart—but they must also be open-minded and collaborative. Creating a workplace where talent is recognized for its abilities, talents, and achievements is important not only for your business’ success but also as a way of encouraging diversity across multiple dimensions (gender, race, ethnic background, etc.). Those cultures have a better chance of succeeding in an increasingly dynamic marketplace.