In a continuously evolving media environment, where on one side, the opportunity to market your brand has increased due to increase in the number of communication platforms, it has also added to the list of problems for any brand/ marketing manager of choosing multiple vendors for diverse requirements like online media, offline media, BTL, creative, CRM. Technology, PR etc.
Unlike the west where most of the clients believe in having specialized units for every task, Indian clients want a one stop solution, which is sometimes not a good idea.
Though most of the big traditional media companies claim that they have the expertise for end-to-end solutions, often that is not the case. A client should be wise enough to figure that out during the pitch process. (Also read : Decoding Digital DNA, A Strategic Perspective for PR Agencies in India )
A lot of agencies outsource their operations to small vendors and that’s quite regular in our industry but the fact remains that this increases the turnaround time & even results in poor quality due to miscommunication between various agencies & vendors. This is one of the reasons why a client should go for specialists (even specialised consultants who can reduce their pain points and build a smooth process driven marketing approach would be a good idea)
No single agency can provide all the specialised services with highest efficiency & quality. In fact, if the agency can focus on their core specialty, they would be in a much better position to get more business compared to ever so growing number of studio agencies.
6 points all clients must look at if they wish to give their business to any single digital marketing agency in India:
1. Objective : Has the agency been able to interpret the client’s objective clearly? Often agency is too busy selling what they want to sell and forget the client’s core purpose of advertising.
2. Process Understanding: Does the agency understand the business processes of the sector? This is very important as they need to be aware of the purchase life cycle of the products and the existing sales process which will help them craft their engagement campaigns for the brand more strategically.
3. Money Saving: Is the agency interested in saving client’s money in any form, either by improving their business processes internally or by saving costs through their media planning abilities ( not buying or not even lowering their commissions because that is negligible cost saving ). Has the agency demonstrated any such cost saving measures in the past for any other client.
4. Core Expertise: Client should upfront ask the agency about their core expertise and see the work only in that domain. Though an agency might showcase their credentials across range of services but client should see the crux on day 1 itself.
5. Vision: An agency should also demonstrate their next 4-5 years vision for the client in the digital space keeping an eye on the technology, market & consumer insights which is critical for any brand.
6. Customer & Market Understanding: An agency should also bring their market intelligence by doing a thorough research on the product &/or category so that they have a clear understanding of their final goal of getting the right audience through right communication & channel.
7. Mobile Understanding: Considering Mobile devices would soon outgrow the digital medium, which means that every agency needs to build a road map for the brand’s digital assets transition from online to mobile. Does the agency have those resources who can think about creating a separate Mobile Experience for brand’s audience?
I believe this would help any client to understand if the agency can handle their brand in the digital environment or not. If the client is not convinced then I think they should definitely look at the option of hiring various independent specialists for the job.