Traditional advertising agencies vs. digital marketing agencies

Have you been looking for help with your marketing? Your online presence plays a big factor in your marketing success.

What’s the difference between a digital marketing agency and a traditional advertising agency? A lot. However, many traditional advertising agencies claim to offer a full suite of digital services, when, in fact, they do not.

This isn’t a big secret. But, traditional ad agency sales pitches can seem like smoke and mirrors, hiding the fact that they are not capable of providing true digital marketing services such as search engine optimization (SEO), social marketing, and efficient website redesign and development– and let’s not forget the ever more critical content and UX strategy now necessary for any brand to truly succeed online.

This is why you see award winning creative ads, like the Susan G. Komen Addy Gold winning “Race Never Ends” by GSW with so few YouTube view counts (862 at last check after over 12 months online). The ad is remarkable, it makes an impact, it stirs your soul on an emotional level and may actually persuade you to donate or join the race – but where is it online? Perhaps that wasn’t the intent or strategy behind the ad, but if not, why not? Clearly the ad would have done very well online and the Komen Foundation would have been better served to hire a true digital marketing agency to ensure the video also had an impact online.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the past year’s DoGooder award winners on YouTube. Watch the videos and then find their website’s and the campaigns behind them. Video is just one element of a successful marketing and advertising strategy in today’s segmented digital marketing world. Same goes for your website, your social marketing platform or your direct mail piece. Every element of your brand’s marketing needs to be built for digital in one way or another, and the truth is, most traditional agencies simply can’t offer digital services.

To that end, many brands are now pairing agencies together, rather than turning to one traditional agency for all of their services or to one digital agency. If you’re a CMO, marketing director or brand manager, I don’t need to tell you how expensive hiring the wrong agency can be. Sure, there’s the dollar figure and investment, but even more costly is the time lost. In digital, every day you’re not truly optimizing your brand online is a day lost to the competition that you’ll never gain back. That’s why you have to hire the best digital marketing agency. End of story.

Check these scenarios. If you’re in one of them, there’s a solution below.

You’re bound to a large traditional agency by contract or political obligation.

Hire a digital agency to compliment their work with an audit or content strategy. Depending on the size of your website, these audits and content strategies cost between $300-$3,000. A small price to pay to ensure the traditional agency’s beautiful creative work actually succeeds online. Digital agencies, like ours, play very well with traditional agencies.

You love your traditional agency and don’t want to offend them by questioning their work.

First of all, you’re being too nice. This is your business and/or your career and if your agency isn’t bringing in the results you’ve spelled out then it’s okay to question the quality of their work. Now, clearly, there are always egos involved and  for a true agency partnership to succeed your approach as the client is paramount to that success. Introduce the idea of a digital agency audit as something that can help the traditional agency’s team to succeed. And be sure to choose a digital agency that will play nice with your traditional agency. Make it clear to both sides that the relationship will not be a pissing match or competition for the other’s work. “I’m happy with your agency for this reason, but we need this agency for this reason. Play nice, or I’ll have to find an agency that can do both.”

You can’t afford to hire both a traditional and digital agency, but your brand has to perform online.

Skip the traditional agencies all together, and explore a relationship with a creative digital marketing agency like Speaking Socially. We are a full service advertising agency with digital marketing at our core. So, the digital is in the bag and the traditional is just gravy. Your campaigns are then designed from the outset to perform offline and online.