Research identifies digital agencies need to invest in strategic planners, not just digital specialists


An interesting article regarding the need for more strategic brainpower within digital agencies; as some digital agencies have moved into the space of rapid campaign implementers, rather than thought leaders or market changers.

Readers of The Financial Times will have recently seen a survey by the CMO Council forecasting a slight decline in the need for digital agency services. In the NMA Anthony Cooper, MD of Pearlfinders has commented on his research findings.

The article is here:

A key excerpt reads:

From speaking to over 1,000 chief marketing officers in the last quarter, the overall trend is an increase in the number of opportunities for (sic. digital) agencies. But this is accompanied with a steep decline in non-strategic, project-based briefs.

Digital work is being increasingly dissolved into the marketing mix, so digitally focused agencies should ensure they’re constantly focusing on a client’s or prospect’s overall marketing plan. The digital elements of this plan are also less likely to fall purely to the online marketing manager or head of digital. A range of marketers are now pivotal when it comes to digital strategy, from comms directors to brand managers.

We’re also being told that too many digital agencies are focused on project work in a rather process-driven way. Instead, they need to show how they can work on a retained basis to deliver a strategic product.

Digital agencies take note: your clients are no longer novices. A senior digital marketing decision-maker at one of the UK’s largest retailers told us recently that agencies are fellow practitioners of digital marketing and no longer the gurus they so often believe themselves to be.

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