Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Integrated Marketing and Media, Internet Advertising, Social Media Marketing

Agencies Don’t Turn Your Back on Digital Marketing

Ah yes. Digital marketing. Once a great champion. Now a broken-down has-been, struggling to remain relevant in a changing world. Like Joe Namath, but with a keyboard.

So goes the story in many agencies today.

In their zeal to jump aboard the social media express, agencies are neglecting to shore up the other corners of the digital marketing foundation – many of which deliver more concrete ROI (at least for now).

Further, while social media is the most transformative because of its impact on brand>><<consumer relationships, it’s certainly not the easiest (or most lucrative) professional service to offer clients.

Digital Marketing is More than Social Media

interactive marketing spend 300x151 Agencies Dont Turn Your Back on Digital MarketingForrester’s recent projections of interactive marketing spend through 2014 show social media increasing at an average of 34% year over year. That’s pretty spectacular, sure. But, for all the Twitter this and Facebook that, remember that even five years from now banner advertising will be 5 times bigger than social media, and search marketing will be 10 times larger.

Should agencies develop social media competencies, and help their clients create sound, sustainable social media strategic plans? Absolutely. But, social media does not work as a solo act. Because almost every other aspect of the company manifests itself in some way in social media, it’s imperative that social activities are integrated with other elements.

Thus, if you want to get serious about being an agency that can provide social media services, you better be able to offer meaningful email marketing, mobile marketing, search marketing, and online advertising counsel.

That’s why the notion of centralizing social media expertise in a personnel silo is a short-term gratification, but a long-term mistake (like most tattoos). If you accept the premise – as I do – that before long everything will have a social component, you can’t have only one or a few people in your agency holding those keys.

Everyone in your agency needs to understand social media, and while they’re at it, get comfortable with search, email, mobile, banners, and analytics, too.

(first published on Fuel Lines, a great blog by my friend Michael Gass)

Related
  • http://www.thesocialenthusiast.com/ KatFrench

    Oh, et tu Jay? I just posted this morning about how yes, social media needs to infiltrate organizations at all levels, but having dedicated staff, for many companies, is essential in getting to there. Mostly as a response to @TDefren’s post last week decrying “social media departments.”

    Or maybe I’m misunderstanding you, because after all, you did write in the post you’ve linked to

    Not everyone will be an expert in every aspect of social media. It’s too broad, and the current moves too swiftly. But you can have a shared understanding of why you’re involved in social media and how you’re going to evaluate your success, and then break the execution into morsels that can be assigned to team members.

    Which I think isn’t too far from my point. But I haven’t had much coffee today. Yet.

    On the other hand, I totally agree about needing a more comprehensive view of digital marketing, that is inclusive of but not exclusively social media. Email, display, search–they all still have a major role to play. Social and search are almost inextricably linked.

    But leadership and dedicated internal teams do not a silo make. JMO.
    .-= KatFrench´s last blog ..This is how we do it. YMMV. =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Hi Kat. Thanks for stopping by, as always. I believe social media will be a part of everything – and sooner rather than later. Thus, I’m not a huge fan of centralizing expertise. I advise my agency clients to make sure all members of their teams have solid social media knowledge, and then to augment that with dedicated SM professionals. Probably a hybrid between your plan and Todd’s idea.

      In terms of digital overall, I don’t see how social media alone accomplishes much at all, especially in a customer acquisition circumstance. Social media is part of the holy trinity of content/SEO/social media, and agencies need to know all of those, plus other stuff like email and analytics to really be true counselors to their clients.

  • http://www.thesocialenthusiast.com KatFrench

    Oh, et tu Jay? I just posted this morning about how yes, social media needs to infiltrate organizations at all levels, but having dedicated staff, for many companies, is essential in getting to there. Mostly as a response to @TDefren’s post last week decrying “social media departments.”

    Or maybe I’m misunderstanding you, because after all, you did write in the post you’ve linked to

    Not everyone will be an expert in every aspect of social media. It’s too broad, and the current moves too swiftly. But you can have a shared understanding of why you’re involved in social media and how you’re going to evaluate your success, and then break the execution into morsels that can be assigned to team members.

    Which I think isn’t too far from my point. But I haven’t had much coffee today. Yet.

    On the other hand, I totally agree about needing a more comprehensive view of digital marketing, that is inclusive of but not exclusively social media. Email, display, search–they all still have a major role to play. Social and search are almost inextricably linked.

    But leadership and dedicated internal teams do not a silo make. JMO.
    .-= KatFrench´s last blog ..This is how we do it. YMMV. =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Hi Kat. Thanks for stopping by, as always. I believe social media will be a part of everything – and sooner rather than later. Thus, I’m not a huge fan of centralizing expertise. I advise my agency clients to make sure all members of their teams have solid social media knowledge, and then to augment that with dedicated SM professionals. Probably a hybrid between your plan and Todd’s idea.

      In terms of digital overall, I don’t see how social media alone accomplishes much at all, especially in a customer acquisition circumstance. Social media is part of the holy trinity of content/SEO/social media, and agencies need to know all of those, plus other stuff like email and analytics to really be true counselors to their clients.

  • http://thelostjacket.com/ Stuart Foster

    Social media is the blood of an organization’s body (at least for a social business).

    I think a lot of this comes down to semantics. (like most things) I consider the integrated approach to be the best way to meet marketing challenges. You can’t address one thing then let the others wither and die. You need analytics, search, email, banners and copy. That stuff isn’t going away (although I’m not sold on Banners at the moment).

    Ignore digital at your own peril. It’s the easiest and most effective way to monetize your content.
    .-= Stuart Foster´s last blog ..Going the Extra Mile =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      You got that right Stuart. It’s clearly the most effective way to monetize content – or anything else for that matter. Thanks for the smart comment, as always.

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    Social media is the blood of an organization’s body (at least for a social business).

    I think a lot of this comes down to semantics. (like most things) I consider the integrated approach to be the best way to meet marketing challenges. You can’t address one thing then let the others wither and die. You need analytics, search, email, banners and copy. That stuff isn’t going away (although I’m not sold on Banners at the moment).

    Ignore digital at your own peril. It’s the easiest and most effective way to monetize your content.
    .-= Stuart Foster´s last blog ..Going the Extra Mile =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      You got that right Stuart. It’s clearly the most effective way to monetize content – or anything else for that matter. Thanks for the smart comment, as always.

  • http://www.thoughtsonemail.com/ Rob S.

    I read your post and replaced the word “agency/agencies” with person/small group, as that is the reality of some businesses and non-profits where digital marketing efforts are handled by an individual or very small group of people within the organization. In some cases it is one of many responsibilities.

    In a situation like that, efforts are integrated by their very nature. And the need to focus on areas (both in learning and effort) that “deliver more concrete ROI” is perhaps even more essential.

  • http://www.thoughtsonemail.com Rob S.

    I read your post and replaced the word “agency/agencies” with person/small group, as that is the reality of some businesses and non-profits where digital marketing efforts are handled by an individual or very small group of people within the organization. In some cases it is one of many responsibilities.

    In a situation like that, efforts are integrated by their very nature. And the need to focus on areas (both in learning and effort) that “deliver more concrete ROI” is perhaps even more essential.

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  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    Why ignore other marketing tools just because there’s a shiny, new toy out there? You add the new trick to your bag, not replace the old ones.

    Per your tweet, if Social Media is a side dish, the Product/Service/Brand is the entree at the center of marketing. How you serve it will dictate your channels: if it’s personalized service, SM for 1on1 connections; if fast food, it’s mass marketing, and so on.

    You just can’t put all your eggs in one basket; it’s a cliché because it’s true.
    .-= Davina K. Brewer´s last blog ..Just Say So: Disclosure, Transparency and Social Media =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Exactly right. I’m glad you mentioned product/service, too. Social media won’t save your crappy product, it will expose it. Thanks for the comment Davina!

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    Why ignore other marketing tools just because there’s a shiny, new toy out there? You add the new trick to your bag, not replace the old ones.

    Per your tweet, if Social Media is a side dish, the Product/Service/Brand is the entree at the center of marketing. How you serve it will dictate your channels: if it’s personalized service, SM for 1on1 connections; if fast food, it’s mass marketing, and so on.

    You just can’t put all your eggs in one basket; it’s a cliché because it’s true.
    .-= Davina K. Brewer´s last blog ..Just Say So: Disclosure, Transparency and Social Media =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Exactly right. I’m glad you mentioned product/service, too. Social media won’t save your crappy product, it will expose it. Thanks for the comment Davina!

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  • http://www.kunocreative.com/ John McTigue

    I like to think we’re ahead of the game (for now as you say) in that we’re a marketing agency and we believe in integration of all facets of marketing. For us, the different types of marketing are all options available to us to drive successful campaigns, and they all need to be considered. The right mix depends on many factors related to both client goals and environmental/demographic conditions. Clearly we are pushing the social media and inbound marketing tactics now because they are hot and working well, but that never precludes a good old fashioned billboard or e-mail marketing campaign if either makes sense.

  • http://www.kunocreative.com John McTigue

    I like to think we’re ahead of the game (for now as you say) in that we’re a marketing agency and we believe in integration of all facets of marketing. For us, the different types of marketing are all options available to us to drive successful campaigns, and they all need to be considered. The right mix depends on many factors related to both client goals and environmental/demographic conditions. Clearly we are pushing the social media and inbound marketing tactics now because they are hot and working well, but that never precludes a good old fashioned billboard or e-mail marketing campaign if either makes sense.

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  • Duane Roberts

    Great tweet RT @jaybaer Social media is a side dish not an entree. Why agencies can't turn their back on digital marketing http://ow.ly/tVQd

  • http://twitter.com/schubert_b2b/status/4824773626 Schubert Comm.

    Agencies shouldn't turn their back on digital marketing (by@jaybaer). http://bit.ly/hs6r9 RT @BethHarte: RT @GlassHalfFullPR

  • http://twitter.com/jlysne/status/4825745626 Josh Lysne

    Great post @jaybaer Social media doesn't stand alone, it is one part of the mix. http://ow.ly/u4oq

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  • http://twitter.com/kathipeters/status/4827481972 kathipeters

    Agencies Don&#39;t Turn Your Back on Digital Marketing | Integrated … http://bit.ly/XSWH3

  • http://twitter.com/annmariedennis/status/4827518810 AnnMarieDennis

    Agencies Don't Turn Your Back on Digital Marketing | Integrated … http://tinyurl.com/yfw9vuz

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  • http://twitter.com/cmbinfo/status/4832552949 ChadwickMartinBailey

    RT @jaybaer: Agencies, don't fall in love with social media to the exclusion of other digital marketing tactics. http://ow.ly/tVRf

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  • http://www.nosmokeandmirrors.com/ Mark Allen Roberts

    Great advice,

    Unfortunately a number of agency types are putting perfume on the PR pig and calling it social media.

    I recently posted a blog about these “smores”…social media whores http://nosmokeandmirrors.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/entrepreneur-best-practices-15-beware-of-smoressocial-media-whores/ …and I would value your thought leadership on how entrepreneurs can avoid falling victim to them.

    Mark Allen Roberts
    http://www.outbsolutions.com
    .-= Mark Allen Roberts´s last blog ..Entrepreneur Best Practices: #15 Beware of “Smores”…Social Media Whores =-.

  • http://www.nosmokeandmirrors.com Mark Allen Roberts

    Great advice,

    Unfortunately a number of agency types are putting perfume on the PR pig and calling it social media.

    I recently posted a blog about these “smores”…social media whores http://nosmokeandmirrors.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/entrepreneur-best-practices-15-beware-of-smoressocial-media-whores/ …and I would value your thought leadership on how entrepreneurs can avoid falling victim to them.

    Mark Allen Roberts
    http://www.outbsolutions.com
    .-= Mark Allen Roberts´s last blog ..Entrepreneur Best Practices: #15 Beware of “Smores”…Social Media Whores =-.

  • http://twitter.com/jamesgunnseo/status/4838851533 James Gunn

    RT @jaybaer Agencies Don't Turn Your Back on Digital Marketing – http://bit.ly/hs6r9

  • http://twitter.com/woerpel/status/4843026524 woerpel

    Nice post: Digital Marketing is More than Social Media http://bit.ly/26yPoO #sm #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/ramatweets/status/4843044919 Brian Nizinsky

    Agencies Don't Turn Your Back on Digital Marketing http://ow.ly/udWu

  • http://twitter.com/gjocius/status/4853417489 Gav

    Search, email, social media, mobile, banners, analytics >>>>> arrows in a digital quiver >>>>> http://bit.ly/4rVmLM

  • http://twitter.com/btobbloggers/status/4864489405 Jeremy Victor

    Agencies shouldn't turn their back on digital marketing (by@jaybaer). http://bit.ly/hs6r9 RT @Schubert_B2B @BethHarte @GlassHalfFullPR

  • http://twitter.com/btobbloggers/status/4864489405 Jeremy Victor

    Agencies shouldn't turn their back on digital marketing (by@jaybaer). http://bit.ly/hs6r9 RT @Schubert_B2B @BethHarte @GlassHalfFullPR

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