Digital Agencies: Being ‘Digital’ is not enough

Being ‘Digital’ just doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. It’s not a unique selling point for agencies. It’s becoming a threshold capability that every man and his dog are jumping all over in an attempt to get hold of their client’s growing online spends. But doing it well? – that’s another blog post in itself.

While critics are calling time on the digital revolution, there’s a new level playing field opening where specialists (digital agencies) are being faced with the opposition of traditional agencies who now know their desktop widget from their i-phone App. It was inevitably going to happen at some point – but it has been widely documented that the catalyst for this wake-up call was the 2009 Cyber Lions Awards – of which only a lowly 12 went to pure digital specialists such as AKQA and Agency Republic. There’s the proof.

Now is the time to be ideas driven. Now is the time to innovate, invent and experiment. Pure play digital shops need to be pushing new concepts at clients through new technologies – things such as augmented reality as an example. They need to also be thinking more about the strategic lead-in rather than just the solution (a website, a banner, an App) – they need to explore the bigger picture and the wider effects of how their digital solution can add value to the clients business model. But at the same time, they still need to be able to deliver. On time and on budget. Depressingly a trade-off only the best can master.

Is being Digital enough?

Is being Digital enough?


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2 Responses to “Digital Agencies: Being ‘Digital’ is not enough”

  1. Chris Jones Says:

    As a digital veteran (well, 13 years) and having started my career in the offline world I am seeing my own experience matching that of pure play digital agencies. Working as a digital specialist in a “traditional” agency I’m seeing more people becoming web savvy and able to come up with great interactive ideas. While my experience is still vital I’m moving to a more media-neutral perspective. It’s the idea that counts and it may end up as an online only campaign. The reality is, even though the public is spending more time consuming digital media they are not exclusively online. A great campaign needs great executions in all touch points where the audience might find themselves. It’s easier for “traditional” agencies to ramp up digital know-how than for pure digital agencies to recruit offline talent. In the end the online/offline viewpoint will disappear. It’s all communication.

  2. neilpotter Says:

    Chris – At last the voice of reason. and you’ve successfully articulated exactly how I see the media landscape shifting. As you say, It’s all communication.

    But this point almost begs the question – Do you see pure play digital shops surviving in the long term???

    I’m struggling to see how a pure play digital shop can survive unless they have a very strong USP, for example: being very tech focused..

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