I hear this question get asked a lot at various shows, groups, and in work environments. I used to hear this question asked when I worked at a large ad agency myself. These days I am working in the world of search engine marketing, so by the time a client reaches me, they are already well aware that the Internet is not just another “channel” they should be considering.
I recently read a great post over on the newly launched ideasonideas which got me thinking about how large advertisers handle this very question.
I agree with much of what the article says, and think the problem lies within the initial “split” that occurred in the late 90′s and early 00′s when big ad agencies developed Interactive Departments that had little or nothing to do with the bulk of the planning and advertising that went on.
The question for this century, or at least 2008, should be:
What is your Marketing strategy?
This should encompass ALL FORMS OF MEDIA AND ADVERTISING.
There no longer is any such thing as having an offline strategy and an online strategy.
These two groups are now more connected then ever. Doubt it? Try to find me one single advertiser that does not have ANY listings on the web or has zero listings come up on a search engine.
Offline advertising influences online communities, interactions, and even behaviors. By not monitoring these sources you are missing out on a large discussion of your brand and or company.
It appears the folks at ideasonideas “get” this synergy – but I agree that it is difficult to explain it to the “rest of the world” (read: big advertising agencies).
The advertising agency model of the future is a hybrid of what exists today.
There is no way to predict what the future advertising agencies look like, but there certainly are parts that exist today that are not going anywhere;
1. integrated account teams that understand all media
2. Planning across all departments
3. Allowing TWO WAY communication to happen as part of the message
4. Accountability and metrics will remain paramount
5. Change will continue
Those are just a few of my thoughts of what will continue, but I know there will be more. Number 5 above highlights the most important issue that all marketers, even those in the hip interactive agencies, must recognize and always remember to look at things from a different angle sometimes.