Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Agencies have the Talent but do they have the Mindset?

The troubling thing about digital marketing is the ease it can be implemented. Thousands of companies every day start their journeys online. It can be done by one person sitting alone under the glow of a desk lamp. In fact, just last night, I witnessed someone not at all familiar with technology create their own site. The only problem was the file naming conventions being used. Rather than explain, I just changed and off they went.

So why do agencies have such a difficult time adopting technology. Before you argue that they already have - email and viral videos do not equate to technology adoption. There's a giant blue ocean stretching far and wide with few recognizable names bobbing around.

Recently, Ford has been lauded for its incorporation of social media. But what's really going on behind the scenes? Jalopnik has an interesting take on this. Notice that Scott Monty has even been banned from the message boards. To a lesser extent, James Andrews arrival in Memphis to present to FedEx shows the gap we have yet to overcome.

In one case, we have a company representative that is not representing a brand. On the other, we have an influencer still believing that the circle of influence is restricted to in person meetings.

Agencies have to get away from ego.

Ok. Let's get a bit more realistic. Ego is fine and has driven many great campaigns. We need to move beyond the mindset that is about ownership. I'm still confounded by the idea of an AOR. Unless we're going the way of Enfatico, there's little reason to single out one effort. All efforts working in concert generate the results we're looking for. Sometimes it takes Tweets. Sometimes it takes emails. Regardless of the delivery system, we have to be ready to hand over the messaging.

Agencies do not own messaging. Brands do not own messaging. Only customers can own. All we can do is respond.

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