Are You Part of a Media Company with an Agency or and Agency with a Media Business?

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It seems an article publishes weekly referencing media companies purchasing or building digital agencies in an effort to diversify revenue and expand knowledge base around new technology. Another popular topic these days is about agencies altering their model in order to fit the new model of advertising. A model that includes content marketing and usage of digital tools. 
So, we have media companies trying to act more like an agency and agencies trying to act more like media companies. The reality of this situation is related to primarily designing, creating and selling ads that have impact. Both media companies and advertising agencies want to be experts. Display ads still exist and in some cases still work great, but they are only part of a solution. In today’s ever changing advertising industry it’s critical that an advertiser feel they are getting an all encompassing solution that recognizes the need for a great ad that can reach an audience through search engine tactics, social media, content marketing, blog posts, programmatic, email blasts and a combination of other digital strategies. 

I mentioned a need for a great ad but what is a great ad? Creatively speaking it has to be compelling, eye catching and quickly convey the desired message. Now the hard part. Is it through video, photography, illustrations, blog posts, content written for a specific audience, social media, etc.?  The answer is all of these outlets plus more. More. More. More. But how can a media company or an agency pivot to survive and thrive in this marketing world?

It has to begin with a mindset change. Agencies typically focus on starting with creative design and messaging, then partnering to outsource many of the activities related to distribution of the creative. Some agencies focus on media buying to ensure all bases are covered with distribution sources or aggregation of inventory for distribution. Media companies typically try to remedy the issues with all the new ways to advertise by focusing on, developing or outsourcing a laundry list of products so no matter what an advertiser requests, they have a product to offer.

In order to succeed in today’s market at an agency or media company, the mindset must be to blend. Agencies and media companies have to first start by presenting an advertiser using the worn out term, consultative selling. Agencies can’t just sell the creative and focus on the ads doing all the work and media companies can’t load up the menu with digital products and have sales or marketing representatives choose the right ones for an advertiser. Today requires anyone wanting to help a business navigate the ever changing digital marketing world or marketing in general, the ability to listen to an advertiser and conceptualize what needs to happen on social media versus search engines versus content marketing versus websites versus mobile devices and more. It’s really all about the campaign and desired impact. A thought process around the audience and how they consume information and ultimately the assets needed are the key elements long before a discussion of the tactics or products used to facilitate the desired impact.

I know this may sound simplistic, consultative selling versus product selling but there’s a reason media companies are forming or building agencies and agencies are building out content and digital teams. Media companies want to be part of consultative selling which includes the creative elements including video, photography and design. While agencies are looking to be part of the entire campaign including developing content beyond just an ad and recommending distribution using their own resources  It all starts with a marketing representative listening and building a campaign with multiple elements instead of just selling products the agency or media company has to offer.

It’s critical for success of a media company or agency you let the client win with a successful campaign.  Sales incentives for product sales or legacy knowledge should never drive the decision process in getting to a win for the client.

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