How to hire a digital agency

How to hire a digital agency – the most important CMO task

One of the major obstacles on the move towards new marketing is the lacking decision making in the choice of digital agencies.

Recently, iMediaConnection had an article on this issue. (To see the full article please visit; A CMOs guide to hiring a digital agency – iMediaConnection.com.)

You can find my takeout and thinking on this article below.

Three things not to miss when choosing a digital agency:

1) Understand that nobody serves a perfect full service and you need either a great team or a lead agency.

from the article: “Do you opt for a “specialist” agency — a social media shop, for example — to work in a highly technical area, or do you hire one agency that can bring it all together at the risk of sacrificing some key knowledge in an emerging area?…

… If you have the time and staff to orchestrate across multiple specialists, then you have the option to spread the love. If youre like most organizations, however, and youre short-staffed and time-crunched, then you should find and assign a lead agency and have them sub-contract for the specialists.”

2) Don’t try to catch up with each trend yourself, it doesn’t pay off

from the article: “digital creates new communication channels faster than advertisers can figure out how to use them…

…If you try to have a specialist for every niche, you’ll constantly be searching for a specialist for the next new thing,”

3) Look for thought leadership and be courageous to empower the thought leaders (even if they are outside of your company).

from the article: “If you have a lead agency responsible for bringing holistic thinking, then they will have the responsibility to be constantly searching for those specialists and providing you with thought leadership and success.”

Also, the article correctly pointed on an often problem creating area; the view of the CMO and the marketing team.

“the assumption that the onus is on the agency to make its client happy won’t get a CMO very far in the long-run”

That is so correct, and just a change in this view might change the total outcome of the marketing efforts (needless to say, if the company was smart enough to choose the right agency).

Customer Service is the New PR

Steve Rubel named the new phenomenon shortly and simply in six words; Customer Service is the New PR.

Echoing on Rubel, Carol Cole-Lewis states in her article; “When I worked in the marketing department for Lexmark in the UK, we made a case for including Customer Service personnel in our department, rather than in technical support. We were right then, and we’d be more than right now.”

It is so right. I was trying to explain this to companies for the last 10 years (unfortunately not in these 6 simple words). Internet put the Customer Service process in front of all our customers, and social media become the new catalyst for customer service experiences (to spread faster on the internet).

Today, all the research reports that highly influential consumers are using social media channels to share their personal customer service experiences and learn about others’ care experiences when making purchase decisions.

You can also see one of these researches at; SNCR Study, 2008. (Please note; unfortunatelly, this study is removed from site, contact me in case you really need detailed info).

Top 10 Marketing Events

Below, you can find my list for top ten marketing events that you should not miss in 2009. Of course, I don’t advise you to attend all of them. However, if you are in marketing business in North America and/or Europe, this is a list you should keep in mind, so that you can schedule your trips accordingly. A top marketing executive should attend at least two of these events within 2009.

Top 10 Marketing Events
Top 10 Marketing Events
Start Date End Date Event City 10-Aug-2009 14-Aug-2009 SES San Jose 11-Aug-2009 11-Aug-2009 Social Media & Video Strategies (Clickz) San Jose 21-Sep-2009 22-Sep-2009 MIXX NewYork 22-Sep-2009 23-Sep-2009 Ad-Tech London 23-Sep-2009 24-Sep-2009 dmexco (IAB EU) Köln 20-Oct-2009 22-Oct-2009 Web 2.0 Summit San Francisco 16-Nov-2009 19-Nov-2009 Web 2.0 Expo NewYork 16-Nov-2009 18-Nov-2009 Brand Summit Brighton, U.K 17-Nov-2009 18-Nov-2009 Ad-Tech Beijing 24-Nov-2009 25-Nov-2009 SES Berlin 6-Dec-2009 9-Dec-2009 Agency Summit Scottsdale, AZ 9-Dec-2009 10-Dec-2009 LeWeb Paris Paris

Oh, did you say, there are 12 top events on the list?

Yes, I gave you two bonuses (in case you can not make it to the original ten top events). Also do not forget, these events are a good opportunity to meet likeminded “Radical Marketer”s.

Four commands of Radical Marketer

Four commands of Radical Marketer.com;
  1. You shall believe in “web centric integrated marketing” and know it is the right way of new, “radical” marketing.
  2. You shall know that “Marketing cannot be left to Marketers only“. Marketing and strategy should be hand in hand, and the top management (or the top brains of the corporation) should be very close to the strategic marketing issues.
  3. You shall not just seek for “Market Shares” but “Soul Shares“.
  4. You shall see that “Marketing is not a cost center, but a profit center“.

Evolution of Advertising

Umair Haque had a great article on the Evolution of Advertising, which inspired me. Following his article, I think there are two drivers in the evolution of advertising; first being serving the relevant ad to consumers (which Umair clearly mentioned in his article), and second being the shift from push to pull advertising (with the raise of the social media). The second driver is much harder for brands, first to understand, second to manage.

Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP on Charlie Rose

A conversation with Martin Sorrell

Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of WPP Group was on Charlie Rose on My 21st for the first time. It is a show worth watching. You can find some of my quick notes from the interview below;

Martin Sorrell quotes;

CMOs are mostly old people, and change is the last thing they have in mind.

Currently, digital is 25% of our business (& emerging markets is 27% of our business)

Traditional look to advertising: 33% TV, 33% Print, 33% Other media

Now, balance is shifting: 25% TV, 25% Print, 25% Digital, 25% Other media

In a few years there will be a big change: within couple years (it will be fairly quick), all media is becomming digital

Listening to this interview one question came to my mind; Can you spot me one Turkish CMO who spents 25% in digital?

Social Marketing is Not a Tactic

I was reading an article (from Michael Gass) on social media, and realized how many people in the marketing area are looking at social marketing from a very narrow angle.

Social Media’s (&social marketing’s) effect on Web Marketing can be considered as being similar to Web’s effect on marketing.

Social Marketing is to Web Marketing,

what Web was to Marketing!

The effect is total change, a need for a different mindset, different organization and people with different skills.

You can see the full article below;

“Social media is much more than a tactic. The more you participate in social media and learn what can be gleaned, you will soon realize its potential. Rich, valuable and instantaneous feedback from your audience. Lots of opportunity to conduct primary research. A wealth of information from online discussions as informative as the very best focus groups.”

via Ad Agencies Please Know That Social Media is Not a Tactic « FUEL LINES Fueling Ad Agency New Business Through Social Media.

Online advertising trends

“Microsoft’s Online Services division, which includes the online portal MSN and its Internet advertising sales, lost $575 million in the first quarter of 2009, and sales in the division were down 14% from the same quarter a year earlier.”

via Microsoft’s profit sinks 32% – Apr. 23, 2009 .

Did you see the latest numbers from Microsoft Online Advertising Revenues? I still don’t get it. How is it possible that a company like Microsoft cannot come up with a software which is a real rival to Adwords? (knowing that Adwords system is much simpler than most of Microsoft’s software and Adwords has still a lot of areas for improvement)

I am not sure whether Microsoft has the right team to tackle this issue. I believe a healthy competition in this area would be very beneficial for both publishers and advertisers.

On a second thought; the only party which will not benefit from this competition is USA. But we are living in Obama times now, hopefully, we might even see a Microsoft with a good advertising foundation.

Online creative ads

“Every ad on the internet should give users the option to expand the ad, request more information, watch a video demo of the product, or even to purchase the product right from the ad.”

via Why online creative stinks so badly – iMediaConnection.com.

Eric Picard has the right vision on interactive ads. Even a pure branding campaign should have these options. We are trying to explain this to our customers as well. However, I believe the industry and the brand managers are slow in understanding these dynamics.

“The entire marketing infrastructure and the economy is going to be diminished.” by David Poltrack of CBS is a correct statement, and the marketing economy is moving ahead wheater the marketers like it or not.

Social Marketing Agency

(or Social Media Agency)

Mr Youth “a social marketing agency focusing on word-of-mouth, social interactive and experiential marketing” announced today that it has closed a private equity deal with two Boston-based investors.

Social Marketing is a great are with huge profit opportunities. It is very difficult for “integrated agencies” to focus on social marketing, and the teams with experience in this area will be the stars of advertising in the future.

Social Media Agencies are the same to Twitter and Facebook (and all other Social Media), what Search Agencies were to Google (Which is the marketing solution).

Predictions & New Trends in Live Analytics & Woopra

Thanks to Eray Endes, I was able to see Woopra live and made my first chat on Woopra this week. For long, I haven’t been this excited for a new technology. My three predictions on Woopra and this issue are;

  • Live analytics will be a new game in town (and woopra will most probably be the king of the game)
  • Woopra will be acquired within one year, most probably from Google or Microsoft
  • Live communication with the visitor “woopra style” (incoming but outgoing in Call Center terms) is just another story coming (not soon, probably Woopra will not even be the major player in that game)

You can also read the Woopra article on TechChrunch from here.