Each day brings with it more news of the economic hardships affecting the media industry at large. Advertising agencies have not been immune to the economic environment, often leaving them with a reduced staff that's expected to produce the same quality and quantity of work in the same amount of time or less.
At of the end of January, BNET Advertising's "Ad Agency Layoff Counter" numbered nearly 7,000 -- a grim number for the industry. The question now for agencies isn't "what can I do now to cut my budget?" but rather "how can I use the resources I have to get a better return on my client's investment?" The answer is simply to do what you do best: get creative. By partnering with rich media companies that offer not just technology, but service, you can deliver robust, inventive advertising that delivers measurable results for your clients.
On a brighter note, more and more ad dollars are shifting from traditional media to online. According to a study published by eMarketer last November, total U.S. online ad spending will increase to $25.7 billion this year, up 8.9 percent from 2008. Though it will be the lowest yearly growth rate for online advertising ever, it will still be a healthy increase compared with nearly all other media. These statistics indicate that more advertisers are running branding campaigns over the web, utilizing rich media formats to get their message out to consumers.
With this shift comes a heightened need for technologically savvy service providers. Interactive digital advertising campaigns have a lot of moving parts and are now much more involved than just repurposing TV spots for static pre-roll video ads. But agencies don't have to sacrifice creative because of diminished resources. By teaming with a rich media company that's also a service-leveraging technology organization (SLTO), agencies gain access to everything they need to create engaging ads that drive value for their customers.
Rich media SLTOs are professional, dedicated experts that act as partners in solving issues by supplying agencies with solutions and services tailored to fit their needs -- a valuable commodity these days. They help agencies produce ad campaigns that are on time, on budget, and properly executed, which means fewer headaches and quicker results for advertisers
So what's the difference between an SLTO and a standard technology provider? Think of SLTOs as specialists in the rich media landscape, similar to doctors with medical specialties as opposed to general practitioners. Many of the products appear to be the same, but the service and in-depth knowledge of how to optimize those products is what sets them apart.
For digital marketers, SLTOs specializing in rich media can offer advice on which types of campaigns work for your vertical, audience, and industry. This personalized service differs from a self-service model in that agencies and advertisers gain insight from people who have learned from working on numerous campaigns. They have the data and experience to know what ad formats and features fit best with specific campaign objectives, whether they be direct response, brand awareness, or something else.
Partnering with an SLTO means your entire campaign process -- from creative consulting to traffic optimization to interpreting metrics -- is done right the first time, every time, saving you and your advertisers time and money, in turn leading to a higher ROI.
By properly using the strength of SLTOs, creative and media agencies can look like stars to their clients. Everyone in the chain can benefit by maintaining a higher standard of quality, publishers serve traffic-driving ads that run glitch-free, and advertisers drive awareness of their brands with eye-catching creative.