Embracing the digital-first mindset

Digital is often the primary consideration for clients and their campaign requirements, says Simon Moon, but first, you need to truly understand where you can add value

Many agencies, like us, sit comfortably in the space of providing integrated agency services to their clients. It’s a space occupied by agencies that pride themselves on being able to satisfy all of their clients’ marketing communications needs under one roof; agencies providing a strategic approach to integrating communications and engaging experiences.

These agencies by definition build strategies and campaigns that are targeted, defined and coordinated towards performance across all relevant channels for their clients.

As our clients start to put more and more emphasis on the increasing importance of measurement and performance and the ability to prove tangible returns on their marketing investment, digital channels continue grow in their importance.

Digital continues in many cases to be the primary consideration for clients and at the forefront of their campaign requirements. This digital-first mentality has meant that for many agencies, their internal digital capability has had to develop over time to build greater expertise and capability in the areas where their clients most need support.

Digital will inevitably sit at the heart of most-everything as agencies we need to do for our clients, but with digital being such a broad church, it is important to focus on its place in the elements of communications, strategy and creative campaign developments that are the most relevant to you.

Truly understanding your clients’ needs and probably more importantly, the areas where, as an agency, you can add real value is essential in figuring out how to effectively manage and leverage your internal digital capability.

Agencies need to build a depth of digital offering in the many areas of service that they provide but that ultimately complement their wider specialist integrated services and importantly where they already have experience of management and performance – such as digital and its role in campaign development or content.

Understanding where your strengths lie as an agency, your total value proposition along with what your clients come to you for support with - will enable you to build, manage and leverage a complementary digital capability.

There is no denying that digital has to be a staple of most agencies, but even the most dedicated digital marketer would most likely agree that focusing on one single element of marketing, such as digital for communications, is going to be less effective than a more inclusive, integrated marketing approach.

Integrated agencies still carry a lot of the weight in this space but when it comes to digital, they need to be true to themselves and understand where they can add real value, and not to try to be everything to everyone.

Don’t claim to be the agency for large-scale digital transformation or e-commerce or the agency for platform led marketing automation, CRM or big data, if you are not.

Do be an integrated marketing agency with a digital-first mindset, which understands the role of digital in the delivery of effective communications for your clients and who can deliver on the promise of a more inclusive integrated marketing approach in line with your overall value proposition.

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