<< by on February 12th, 2007
The Center For Media Research recently released survey results that lend some credence to something we’ve known at Search Mojo for quite a while. Traditional Advertising Firms are ill-suited to meet the online marketing needs of their clients.
According to a recent study of senior marketing executives by Evalueserve for Sapient, just over half of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) believe that traditional, large advertising agencies are ill-suited to meet online marketing needs. Similarly, 49% of survey respondents believe that traditional advertising firms have difficulty thinking beyond traditional print and TV media models, which no longer are effective ways of engaging consumers who now get their information and influence one another primarily through digital channels.
As a result, fewer than 10% of those polled seek to partner with large advertising agencies for their online marketing. Instead, the majority of senior marketing executives show a strong preference for blended firms – firms with roots in technology that can also offer creative and traditional print expertise. Even more (68%) prefer to work with multiple agencies, in order to derive the benefits of specialization.
Chief marketing officers know that these advertising “dinosaurs” have not adapted to new media and can’t think beyond the old standby TV, radio and print advertising models. As referenced above, fewer than 10% of those surveyed go to large advertising agencies for their online marketing needs.
So why don’t these old guard advertising dinosaurs do something about it? Can’t they adapt? In theory they could, but it would mean completely shifting their way of thinking and their revenue models.
The biggest obstacle is the financial one, to get qualified people to do the work they have to pay someone more than they can make individually doing online marketing for themselves, or buyout qualified online marketing agencies. Most agencies don’t seem willing to make that kind of investment. Training the inexperienced will lead to the same problem – once trained, what’s to stop those people from leaving and doing it for themselves or the highest bidder?
So are their days numbered? I’m not the Charles Darwin of the online marketing world, but yes some of them are. Even the traditional advertising models are changing – Google is selling radio and newspaper advertising placements and I truly believe that traditional broadcast television will be a thing of the past in my lifetime, replaced by online media and mobile media. TIVO is just the tip of the iceberg in changing TV viewer habits. Even Bill Gates agrees.
What will happen is that TV will be sent over the Internet, and then you won’t have to think about channels. If there’s a news segment, and you like soccer, we’ll show you more about soccer. If there’s another city where you want to know the weather, that will be in your news report.
Smaller, more specialized online marketing firms have the advantage in the new online world and are much more nimble at adapting to the constant changes in the new market and have the benefit of specialization that big media advertising agencies can’t seem to keep up with.
So what is the solution for large traditional advertising agencies? Many seem to have figured out that they need to partner with specialized online marketing agencies. For that matter, many large and small traditional advertising agencies, and both large and small web design firms seem to be frequently communicating with our firm desperate for help and understanding about SEO and online marketing.
These kind of partnerships are becoming a major part of our business and will continue to be, until the dinosaurs adapt…