Digital agencies today are faced with a real challenge.  As digital and social find their way deeper into full service firms, and as full service firms become more sophisticated in playing in the digital space, digital agencies are finding themselves in an awkward position.

I’ve seen a few digital firms recently struggle with how to best present themselves to prospective clients.  If they try and veer too far off of their digital core, they start looking like every other agency.  And if they stay too true to their digital core, they could limit their opportunities long-term with the client.

If you can afford it, I still believe going best in class is the right way to go.  The divide is still large enough right now between the knowledge and performance and analytics of digital firms and that of full service agencies.

Implications:  If you’re looking for a new digital firm, look under the hood and see just how true to the core they are.  If you see a lot of “other” work, it may suggest that because their eye isn’t 100% on the digital space, you may miss opportunities to capitalize on advances in technology, or may not fully benefit from the strategic knowledge a focused firm has to offer.

It’s highly likely that some day in the not too distant future, many of these digital only agencies will have to “do it all” in order to survive, but in the short-term, make sure you’re looking deeply in to their technological prowess, their strategic prowess, and their analytical prowess to assess the degree to which they can carry you far forward into the digital and social stratosphere.