Ad agencies cut. Service partners help stop the bleeding.

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bleed

Advertising agencies have gone under the knife and have surgically removed whole limbs and major organs just to keep afloat during this recession. Creative and production departments have taken big hits and many agencies are now so short staffed that they are forced to hire outsiders to help deploy advertising campaigns for their clients. According to Clickz.com, ad agencies are outsourcing more production work to outside sources because these providers are able to offer the “new, now and next” offerings that ad agencies just can’t keep up with. It’s evidence that it is becoming more and more difficult to be a one-stop-shop for both traditional and digital offerings. Could this be the wave of the future for ad agencies? Perhaps. However, I have seen this trend of contraction during tough times before. Inevitably, agencies bounce back and start hiring in-house staff to stop the blood flow.

Digitals encouraged to join Traditionals in metrics.

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apples_to_oranges

Young-Bean Song, senior director at Microsoft’s Atlas Institute, has recently posted a directive for online advertisers to take a good hard look at the metrics traditional advertisers use and adopt them in order to sync up with the world of traditional advertising. According to the post, reasons to shun traditional metrics (like Reach, Frequency and Gross Rating Points) fall into three categories: arrogance, fear and ignorance. While current metrics for online advertisers may be powerful and instant, results tend not to be stable and predictable and often don’t make sense in the offline world. Mr. Song goes on to say, “digital folks snicker when they hear advertisers make statements like “TV works” . Turns out, TV does work and there is plenty of quantitative proof that TV advertising drives sales.” It’s easy to want the sexy new shiny thing like digital media to drive marketing budgets, but the truth is, old media is tried and true and still garners most of the media dollars that clients are willing to spend on marketing each year because they know what to expect. Because the digital space is fairly new and often in flux, it’s important to play nice with traditional forms of communication so that marketers can compare apples to apples. Or, you can put all your oranges in one basket and hope the rest of the world follows suit.