Big-Data-LargeIn a post by Ad Age columnist Erika Weinstein, she suggest that traditional media personnel are where digital firms need to turn to put themselves in a position to get ahead of the digital media planning and buying curve.  She cites their knowledge of demographics, market behavior, and competitive analyses as rationale for why digital firms need to look no further than traditional shops.

Not sure I agree with you Erika.

As a former media planner for DDB Needham back in the day when it was really pushing the envelope when I suggested to Michelob Dark that they advertise on the then unproven “late night” daypart…I can tell you that all the skills that I developed (and others develop) as traditional media planners and buyers don’t automatically ready them for the world of digital.

The world of digital media is so far beyond markets and demographics and competitors.

The world of social and digital media is so sophisticated that data firms are now looking to acquire marketing agencies because they see an inherent advantage in coming into the game from a position of data/analytics strength.  In a recent article by one of Erika’s colleagues, it discusses the challenges that digital agencies and data firms will face in trying to battle on each other’s turf.

The level of sophistication and the complexity of what’s going on in the digital space is well beyond the capacity of a TV and print planner and buyer who has never touched the digital world.

So what does this all mean for you, the Marketer?

What it means is that you need to keep your eyes peeled and make sure that the agency you’re brining on board is well equipped to take you far into the future of new and improved digital and social platforms, technologies, and media.

Key is to keep pushing and expect your agency to do the same.

If you don’t and you are slow to make the move, others will lead and you’ll find it even harder to follow.