There’s a land grab going on in the marketing space around digital marketing. It’s as territorial and competitive as college football recruiting and satellite camps -- with traditional ad agencies diversifying their paid media with more dedicated to digital and less with broadcast and print. Web shops are leveraging their “www” skills to grab broader creative work, branding, social buying, organic content. Public relations firms want to own the message, regardless of where or how it is distributed. Digital firms are adding anything creative, regardless if it’s digital output or not.
As a result, companies are struggling to determine who should own its digital. Obviously, if you hire a digital firm, on the surface, it makes sense given their expertise. The question you have to ask: Can my digital firm produce the kind of reputation-based content that can “boost” a digital strategy? Does your digital firm have the “creative chops” to deliver brand-rich and strategic campaigns? Or do you look to your traditional agency and its new digital practice because you know they have the creative horsepower and with the right digital mechanics, it could be a win-win. However, ad agencies don’t care much for public relations and its role in the message, the reputation-based content, reviews and relationships with bloggers and social media influencers.
Sounds complicated, right? Sorry. It is increasingly more layered and dynamic, but also more compelling and effective. One option. Hire two, three or four firms to handle Digital, Web, Creative and PR/Content. Your other option is to see if there’s a firm that can demonstrate its ability to deliver effectively on all four fronts. One that is marrying reputation with marketing or what we call, Reputation Marketing. We see it as today’s marketing. Reputation alone struggles to drive measureable leads and conversions alone. And Marketing lacks the third-party attribution that gets customers to believe there’s substance beyond the creative genius. The combination is a win-win, but it can only be sourced by someone capable of delivering equally on both sides of the house.