Will digital agencies continue to exist
What are they and what is their value proposition? Super clued up on technology? Spot a trend a mile off? Do the things your current agencies can’t do in terms of building and delivering or as Mark Cridge recently wrote in his piece Are digital agencies the new dinosaurs? more open and forward thinking in how technology remains relevant to people.
We forget that they evolved in a world without natural predators, which is why they grew so quickly and so were able to be broad. As the ad, comms, PR, media, CRM, BTL agencies start to really tool up and get what is going on, there isn’t just one predator now but many and they know their discipline as well as which platform it sits on.
The final threat to digital agencies is that more and more of them are finding that the continual change in technology means that having specific disciplines on their books isn’t commercially viable and so start to out source production and build. Which grows the production market.
So you are now left with the idea and approach. If we had a room of the industry’s finest and someone said “probably the most important bit” everyone would nod rather wisely, but ask them who gets paid for their ideas, without any kind of execution underwriting their fees and it would be small.
Unfortunately businesses aren’t great for paying for ideas and the getting someone else to execute and as “non digital agencies” are very good at the idea and able to outsource the execution quite openly, it will continue to squeeze the digital agencies.
I continue to believe “digital” is too broad to be given to one supplier and as such I think many of the digital agencies will disappear. Some will die, some will be picked up and turned into departments, but I’d like think there are some who would drop their digital flags be confident of their skills they have picked up and turn and charge the big guys again.