Copyright The Digital Thread 2018
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    Why is it so Difficult to Understand that Digital Agencies Should Drive?

    Abigail van Zyl / 1st Aug 2018 / Business

    I often feel like I’m going crazy (and tend to have insane RBF – Resting Bitch Face)  when looking around the advertising industry, as traditional agencies take the strategic lead for digital campaigns. It just doesn’t make any sense to me, and I know I’m not the only one. What works above-the-line may not work on digital, in fact it probably wont.

    For those not in the industry here’s a basic example of what is happening; if I booked an appointment with a doctor and they’d given me a diagnosis they couldn’t confirm, they’d refer me to a specialist to confirm their diagnosis – not double down and try to treat it themselves. The same logic is true for most industries. When you’re looking to add on more than a room to your home you call an architect, not a draftsman. Get the right person for the job.

    Anyway, it’s a pet peeve of mine…

    So, before I run off on another tangent, here’s why I believe digital agencies should drive online strategies.

    I Know My Place

    Let’s get one thing straight, I would never insist on taking point on the creation of a traditional strategy. Currently, the most influential media channel domestically is still TV. A 2018 Statista.com Report, predicted that the local industry will spend US$ 1.32 billion this year on television advertising. While digital is predicted to be the second largest segment (yes!), I understand nothing about booking TV spots, providing costings for shoots, and how to streamline the creative process. And you know what? I’m OK with that, it’s not my speciality. If a client wanted to do a TV ad I’d outsource specialists to help, even if it meant I need to let them take the wheel.

    I’ve been at ground level when a digital agency tried to take on a traditional job. It was a mess – just don’t do it.

    Literally I Spend Hours Doing This

    It’s hard for me to imagine a time when I wasn’t reading articles about the online industry at large, and adapting my strategies to what I’d learned. The digital landscape is rapidly evolving, not to mention that advertising spend on social media campaigns need to be monitored 24 hours a day. Otherwise, you can land up with an account that’s suspended.

    The main point is as a professional digital strategist I know the ins and outs of the industry because I’ve been there and got the T-shirt.

    Work Differs Dramatically

    When it comes to deliverables, the difference between traditional and digital differs drastically. As a digital specialist I know what needs to be in place before kicking off a campaign and what the realistic timelines are because, again, this isn’t my first rodeo. It’s this know-how that helps your client get their work on time and on budget. When a traditional agency lays out timelines for digital work, they have little to no experience, they don’t know what work is required, how to produce it, and how to get the results they’re promising. After all, let’s be honest, great work on Facebook doesn’t reach the right audience without the advertising spend.

    At the end of the day, I’m still convinced that I’ll need to have this conversation again, but I also know there’ll come a day when I won’t.

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