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09/09/2008 What Marketers Want


According to a new report from Sapient marketers want agencies to have a greater depth in the digital space. Is this really a surprise? It seems to me that this had been on the wish list for a while now.

While agencies don’t seem to have changed that fast, perhaps the marketers have started to. In other words, marketing directors seem to be more precise in what they’re looking for. Interestingly enough, the people in this survey already had a significant amount of their marketing dollars online.

Some of the desired items include: more knowledge of the digital space, more pull (read conversion) tactics, online communities. What I find most fascinating is that #10 on the list, below design, strategy and branding is analytics. That is, making sure the tactics actually worked and grew the business.

What does this say about marketers? That results are secondary? That hiring a firm with a chief digital officer is better, smarter or easier than hiring a firm that brings in the bacon, online? [Note: Having been a “chief digital officer” at an agency, I know how that can work successfully. But it’s still not as good as business results].

Idris Mootee in his recent blog post doesn’t think that traditional agencies will ever get this and sees a brain drain happening in the opposite direction.

The question for marketers is: Isn’t it better to hire a firm that can deliver on 1-6 and 10 as their primary focus, and augment that with specialists who can deliver on 7-9 rather than vice versa?

The opportunity is ripe for digital firms who understand the customer and who can speak brand and marketing. Just like AKQA and EVB are doing

It seems that that is truly what marketers want.

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