Will Digital-Only Firms Survive?

If you believe your peers, the answer is “no”.

While we are seeing some improvement over the past 3 years in the numbers of Marketers that believe digital-only firms can survive, they are still very low (39% compared to 33% in 2009).

Why is that?

I think the answer is pretty clear.

Marketers like yourself today are getting smarter and savvier when it comes to digital work.  Not only aren’t you just looking for the firm that can create a website and get you set up on Facebook, but you are now under the microscope to show how your activities in this space makes good financial sense.  If all a digital firm can do is paint pretty pictures and doesn’t know how to create a well optimized digital marketing program and doesn’t know how to keep that program optimized is a lost cause.

And with industry experts telling us that 90% of brand conversations are happening off-line, it becomes ever more critical to bring firms on board that know how to play nice in the brand sandbox – be it traditional or digital.  A digital-only firm that only “gets” their world and thinks not about what digital can do for you, but what you can do for digital is a lost cause.

Struck was once a “digital-only” firm. Today they are much more than that.

I know I’m being a bit extreme here…and I know there will always be a need for a highly creative boutique-ee type digital shop, but smart shops have long ago started to make the shift.  We recently placed Struck Axiom at Jack-in-the-Box.  They brought smart, strategic thinking and excellent planning and analytics to the table that has helped Jack-in-the-Box dramatically elevate its presence in the digital and social space.

So what does this mean for you, the Marketer?

If your agency isn’t there, you need to push them there – or find a new home for your digital and social needs.  Your business will demand it.