By: Phil Carroll is director of business and strategy for Breakdesign in Singapore. Breakdesign specialises in digital technology design and development.
The first mistake agencies typically make is the insistence of applying old world models to new world technology. The old model of creating a message and sticking it into a paid space is counterproductive in digital environments. Search engine optimization and other tactics that can help focus attention still inevitably lead to a message in a box, whether it’s a banner ad, website, micro-site or other web-based trinkets such as widgets. What’s typically not exploited is the opportunity to create unique channels of engagement and opportunities that go beyond messages in boxes.
Take most brand websites for instance. They reside firmly in the digital periphery of engagement because they usually offer nothing more than some pictures and words that do little to help a customer engage and build affinity with their brands. Sure, we might go there for some occasionally useful product or service information, or maybe a promotion but how often do we return? And how often does a brand’s website make us feel better about them or solicit a positive reappraisal or action?
The second mistake agencies make relates to the way agencies source, hire and manage their digital talent. Whilst most CEO’s and MD’s recognize the need to pay ‘traditional’ creatives higher salaries within the agency as a whole, they’re typically only competing against other agencies for the services of this talent. Yet digital talent is rarer, and a client would be hard pressed to find an agency where the digital talent is better remunerated than their old world creative colleagues.