Digital agencies: a changing role

Digital agencies: a changing role
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First Published: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 12 47 AM IST

Updated: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 12 47 AM IST
Digital agencies in India, in the garb of “new media” continue to raise client expectations on the delivery of this medium.
As a result, we have a market which is a fraction of the size it should have been by now! Fuelled by a collective bankruptcy of ideas by both publishers and agencies, we have created a scenario, where the medium has paid the price for over-accountability, with campaign reports and data points providing you with orgasms rather than information about the actual campaign and its engagement with the consumer.
Thankfully, there have been a few who have bucked this trend and have taken a fresh “brand” approach in the digital space, and they have reaped the rich benefits of connecting and engaging with their consumers. I’m sure 2009 will see the expansion of this clan of bold marketers who will not sacrifice their message for the medium.
That 2009 is going to be a tough year is a foregone conclusion. I firmly believe that this is a true blessing in disguise for digital agencies. Clients will look for mediums that are accountable, have zero wastage, are interactive and most importantly, effective.
This year will see a true change in the role of digital agencies. For starters, dependency on the banking, financial services, insurance (BFSI) segment will shrink and this will force agencies to look out for new pastures, and will eventually help in bringing in more categories to use this medium.
This will happen only if you really evangelize the medium and don’t have a myopic view and look at only “lead generation” work. Does this mean digital agencies should quickly change their business models and let go of everything they have built over the years?
Of course not, that would be foolish to expect, but what’s essential is that digital agencies should start talking the brand language and be true partners in helping companies build their brands in the digital world.
The role change needs to happen from being the so-called tech players or enablers to brand champions. The approach has to evolve into a consumer-focus approach. In fact, the publishers will be the first to partner digital agencies in this transformation.
In short, all I can conclude is that the slowdown has brought a golden opportunity for digital agencies. After all, aren’t the best companies in the world built in a recession?
Atul Hegde is chief executive officer, Ignitee India Pvt. Ltd
As told to Anushree Chandran.
anushree.m@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 12 47 AM IST