Digital growing pains
Maybe you've heard the estimates? This thing called interactive marketing -- it's going to be really, really big. Up to $61 billion by 2012, according to a recent forecast.
So you've heard the predictions? Well, industry experts have been anticipating a windfall for digital agencies for years, yet few of these companies have built up their staffs and skill sets to prepare to take a lead role in integrated campaigns. Instead, most interactive marketing groups continue to relegate themselves to taking direction from traditional, buttoned-up print and media agencies. At least that's what's happening according to Forrester analyst Brian Haven.
In a December report, Haven suggests that interactive agencies need to strive harder to become lead agencies, not only because the digital market is growing but because the nature of interactive campaigns allows for the delivery of previously unavailable services for the client: detailed metrics on visits, audience engagement and lead generation.
But digital agencies have yet to take advantage of that fact, Haven claims, citing a study of marketing agencies across 52 criteria that "revealed a market adept at handling today's digital campaigns but lacking in the thought leadership to drive more comprehensive brand strategies."
Haven references OgilvyInteractive, Avenue A | Razorfish, Sapient and Digitas as four of a handful of agencies most prepared to lead integrated campaigns, but he says the majority of digital agencies still have a long way to go until they can take on a leadership role. We asked a number of other industry experts how they're prepared to meet Haven's challenge.
Author notes: Leah Messinger is a freelance writer. Read full bio.