Do you know if your digital agency is damaging your brand?
According to McKinsey & Co, in the five-year window from 2014 to 2019, global media spending will rise from US $1.6 trillion to a projected US $2.1 trillion, but what does this mean for those in-house marketing managers, tasked with maintaining competitive position?
Many of these marketers with digital responsibility came into the industry when digital was still in its infancy and not particularly mainstream, but now digital marketing channels are at the heart of marketing communications across the globe.
Client or agency – who has control?
And this creates an issue: if you aren’t educated in digital marketing, how can you be expected to manage these channels effectively? And if client-side marketers aren’t controlling these channels, exactly who is?
And therein lies the problem. The reality is that in many cases, it is the digital agency that has the most knowledge and expertise in digital channels, but this certainly doesn’t mean they have a true understanding of your products, services or even your brand to be successful.
Unseen brand damage
That lack of clear understanding means you may inadvertently sanction the use of techniques such as pop-ups, spam email, click-bait, poorly targeted mass display advertising campaigns and misleading native advertising that have no place associated to a quality brand like yours.
If you think this is far-fetched, look at the free websites of some regional and national newspapers, where, by the time all the advertisements, pre-rolls and pop-ups have loaded, you’ve lost interest in reading it and left. Which newspaper marketing manager wanted that?
Avoiding digital disaster
So, instead of positively communicating and promoting your brand, your lack of digital understanding and complete reliance on your digital agency may well be corroding your brand’s value in the eyes of your website visitors and target prospects without you ever knowing that it is happening.
This has nothing to do with your marketing competence, but is purely due to the limited knowledge of the techniques and options available across various digital channels, and how these might be appropriate or inappropriate for your brand values or brand strategy.
Digital education for senior marketers
What can you do? Well, the first thing is to admit that digital has moved on so quickly that your workflow schedule has not allowed you to remain fully up to speed on developments. To my mind, this is completely likely as your work as a manager is way beyond hands-on.
And how to fix it? There’s no time to go back to college, so fast-track help is required. This should be available via your agency if they have a collaborative philosophy of the kind we’ve built with our clients at Novacom.
How digital agencies can help educate clients – and help themselves
Because of the exponentially fast moving nature of the digital space, we not only educate on digital channels and techniques, but all the other things that are now becoming critical legally across the EU, such as data management and security via ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certification.
So what’s in it for digital agencies? Well if we have given our clients a fast-track insight into digital marketing techniques and methodologies, then we are working in true collaboration with a marketing partner: someone who can share in-house insight and allow us to therefore deliver even greater marketing performance, and success.
And this creates an issue: if you aren’t educated in digital marketing, how can you be expected to manage these channels effectively?