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Emerging Media and Digital Agencies


By Angie Season, Executive Director Recruitment Media and Marketing

Video killed the radio star, all over again...

Think your organization is responding correctly to the rapidly changing landscape of digital media? Ask your marketing group about their confidence in your advertising agency's capabilities in digital media and emerging technologies. According to a recently published report from Forrester Research, chances are good that there is a serious divide in value perception between your marketers and your agencies.

Forrester's Peter Kim, Senior Analyst and author of the report "Help Wanted: The 21st Century Agency" surveyed 141 marketing and agency executives along with the American Marketing Association in Q4 of 2006 in order to learn more about how companies are reacting to the new media age. His study revealed some sobering facts about marketers' depleting confidence in their advertising advisors (namely their full-service advertising agency of record) to escort them in the digital marketing age.

The report stated that:

  • Because of their advertising agencies' lack of skills in emerging channels, marketers are finding it necessary to go beyond their traditional agencies for assistance in Internet, TV, Mobile, and consumer-generated media

  • Marketers view traditional ad agencies as the least competent to deliver effective marketing technologies
    Agencies scored a dismal 21% Net Promoter rating meaning that 79% of marketers would not recommend the traditional ad agencies that they hired themselves

  • Only 45% of marketers feel confident that their traditional ad agencies can handle the shifts in Internet advertising, and only 35% showed confidence in their agencies' capabilities in consumer-generated media

  • Marketers feel that their full-service ad agencies have an overstated role in marketing successes

  • Even though their agencies are viewed as strategic business partners and on an average influence 60% of the marketing budget, full-service ad agencies are not held accountable for results. A whopping 76% of marketers do not measure their Agency of Record's return on investment.

If your consumer marketing counterparts are doing reality checks on the current state of their marketing and advertising resources, so should you. The best advertising agencies, whether it's traditional or recruitment, became the best because of their longevity and contribution in the industry. They have produced countless trophies and a company website section of client portfolios and case studies so huge that it would rival the knock-off designer handbags section on eBay. But because these agencies have been around the block a couple of times, their legacy structures slow their growth and skills adaptation in emerging channels.

According to a marketing executive who participated in the Forrester survey, senior advertising agency executives are more comfortable in conventional channels but feel that the Internet is now a competency since these channels are now integrated with a website. The fact is, traditional advertising agencies do understand emerging and interactive media because they live and consume it daily in this digital world. Understanding something, however, and being able to quickly react to it are two completely different concepts.

The difference between them and a specialist in interactive media is that an interactive advertising agency can spot an opportunity, analyze its worth, and execute the campaign properly without having to turn a massive infrastructure and completely rewrite operational processes. Also, interactive agencies fully understand how to interact with the recipient of a message in that medium. Most important, interactive advertising agencies will track it and deliver an ROI report.

Your prospective candidates use media in a totally different fashion today than say, maybe even five years ago. We all do. That once masterful, award-winning ad created by your full-service recruitment advertising agency so powerful that it seemed to pulse and leap out from the hollows of the classifieds section today has a place-- in a frame hanging on the walls of your career center next to the affirmative action poster.

A recruitment marketing partner who specializes in interactive media and emerging channels will see the opportunity of that award-winning ad and evolve it to a results-focused message delivered in your candidates' media space. We know how fast the digital world moves. There is something new and hot everyday. It is no longer enough for your traditional recruitment advertising agency to say "we get it and we have an eye on it". Frankly, this space moves so fast that it's almost impossible to keep up.

What you need is a recruitment marketing partner with a new and different mind-set that can clearly differentiate between a message that is flat and a message that has dimensions and the opportunity for interaction.

What else did the Forrester study find? Now that marketers are relying on interactive specialists for their next generation marketing, these interactive shops are now becoming their agency of record. It makes sense, doesn't it? Who would you rather guide you in the next age of recruitment marketing? The agency which created your print ad or the agency who created your mobile-ready microsite?

Forrester Research, "Help Wanted: The 21st Century Agency", 2007
iMedia, ClickZ News, AdWeek, 2007




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