Understanding The Digital Marketing Agency

Mitch JoelPosted by

There is a push for Digital Marketing agencies to become full-service agencies.

If that isn’t the truth, there is another push where many full-service agencies – and the global networks that own them – are doing their very best to gobble up as many digital marketing agencies as they can. Regardless, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to figure out what kind of digital marketing agency they need and which services can best suit them. Unfortunately, the research will tell you that brands want agencies to be better, cheaper and faster (don’t believe me, check out this news item from MediaPost: Advertisers Vent On Agencies) in a world where Chief Marketing Officers are battling to control the brands that they serve.

It’s a brave new marketing world, isn’t it?

Last week, one of the more fascinating pieces on the Digital Marketing agency landscape was published by the good people at Gartner (hat-tip to Jenn and Faris). The Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies was released on October 16th, 2012 and this 16-page plus document (which is freely available, so grab it now while you can) offers some of the most interesting reading on the Digital Marketing agency landscape that I’ve seen in some time. It’s less about the content and much more about the players, their market position, the clients they work and how Gartner perceives them in terms of skill-sets and talent.

From the report…

"Today, the world’s largest digital marketing agencies are responding to demand from chief marketing officers (CMOs) who are eager to adopt the mobile and social opportunities that stem from a more robust data-driven environment. While many have a vision to help CMOs rethink the future of marketing, most deals that leverage social, mobile and big data often represent one-off-style engagements, illustrating that marketing executives are still learning and experimenting. The opportunity to execute the ultimate digital dream on a larger enterprise scale exists, but these deals are rare, given the intense competition around pursuits from CMOs who have the vision, propensity for risk — and, of course, budget."

If you are in the marketing, advertising and/or digital marketing space, I highly recommend you grab it and read it over the weekend. It is, without question, illuminating: Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Agencies.

18 comments

  1. I think most firms are having difficulty figuring out what they need because things are changing so rapidly. In the past, businesses understood that there were a few main ways to target their potential customers. These included print media and television. That means that when they wanted a firm, they would look for one that had a creative team that built good campaigns in one of those areas. They were familiar with the means and so, making a choice was easier for them.
    The VPs of marketing in many organizations today are still stuck in that mode. They don’t know how the new technology works and so they aren’t sure what they need.
    Thanks for sharing that tip about The Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies. Since it’s free I’m definitely going to have a look at it after this.

  2. Excellent post Mitch. One interesting description I’ve seen is from Forrester which breaks down agencies into Business Transformers, Experiential Branders, Demand Generators and Audience Engagers.
    It’s amazing to see how agencies innovate in the digital space today and help push their clients’ boundaries.

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