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In the context of an evolving search landscape and multichannel environment, retailers need to re-evaluate the information they include in a brief when sourcing a search agency.
This article explores firstly why the search marketing brief needs to evolve before providing practical advice on what retailers should include in it.
Search remains a critical component of a retailer’s online and wider multichannel strategy. One might argue that it feels almost ‘old hat’ when pitted against new and exciting mediums, such as social media and mobile.
However, search engines remain the number one route by which ‘qualified’ prospects begin their discovery of a brand or product.
Yet the discipline has evolved significantly.
Econsultancy's Progression of Agency Value report looks at the challenges faced by agencies as they attempt to adapt to a rapidly changing market.
The report, published in association with Adobe, presents a broad-based model for agency maturity incorporating the essential component areas arising from the research (data, technology, skills and culture).
I'll summarise these four 'pillars' of agency maturity after the jump...
Over the past several years, Madison Avenue has made a concerted effort to cozy up to Silicon Valley and young technology startups.
And for good reason: with consumers spending more and more of their time online, the technology industry is increasingly important to brands. As a result, ad agencies have little choice but to keep up with technology and, if they're lucky, spot the next big things before they become big.
Digital technologies are having a transformational impact on the communications environment but whilst much analysis has been conducted into implications for client-side marketers, a relative paucity of research exists into how agencies are adapting their processes, offerings and capabilities.
Econsultancy's The Progression of Agency Value: Developing a Model for Agency Maturity in a Digital World report, conducted in partnership with Adobe, examines how agencies need to evolve across four key pillars of maturity: data, technology, skills and culture.
Thanks to the incredible popularity of the world's social network, soon-to-be-publicly-traded Facebook is top of mind for advertisers both large and small, many of which have been pouring more money into Facebook advertising campaigns.
But how are those Facebook ad campaigns treating advertisers?
It may not be the most exciting part of the technology industry, but government is increasingly using the internet to communicate and interact with citizens.
In some cases, use of the internet is becoming a requirement as agencies are required to be a part of 'open government' initiatives.
Twitter's strategy around monetization can be summed up in three words: "take it slow."
Thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, Twitter has been able to do something many digital media upstarts can't: explore new ad models at what often seems like a snail's pace, working primarily with a select number of brand advertisers and agencies.
A year ago, AOL was prepping plans to launch new ad formats. Its initiative, codenamed Project Devil, was designed to provide ads that are more eye-catching and engaging than 'normal' ads.
As we detailed at the time, the ads would be up to four times larger and "be enabled with new functionality, with room for a photo gallery, a video, coupons, Facebook or Twitter updates or maps".
Project Devil was seen as crucial to AOL, which had been seeing significant double-digit declines in ad revenue. If AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was going to turn the company around, it seemed that the new initiative's success would be crucial.
Last week, however, we learned that AOL's new ad formats aren't finding as much tracking as hoped.
In the realm of social media, the word 'listening' surfaces frequently. Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, companies have an ability to listen to what consumers are saying about them in ways never before possible.
But when it comes to social media marketing, many businesses pay lip service to listening and instead focus their actions on words like 'conversation' and 'engagement', which are more exciting.
One global brand, however, is working to ensure that social media activities don't exclude the passive act of listening, and it's doing it in a big way.
Econsultancy has just released the latest version of its Digital Agency Rate Card Survey, which benchmarks average charge out rates for more than 50 different job roles.
The Rate Card Survey is produced on a triennial basis and this year 364 agencies participated in the research.
Average rates range from £465 a day for a junior media planner to £891 a day for a director / partner, though fees increase if an agency is based in London, and also rise in line with turnover.
The efficacy of Facebook advertising may still be yet to be determined for many advertisers, but that hasn't stopped brands from pouring big money into ads on the social network. With more than 750m users, Facebook is simply too appealing a platform to ignore.
When it comes to scaling ad campaigns on the social network, however, advertisers have had limited options. But that could soon be changing.
Despite the rise of digital advertising, advertisers still spent over $130bn last year on television advertising. Of the tens of billions of dollars advertisers are spending on digital ads, a very small portion, perhaps as little as $1bn, is being spent on mobile ads.
But those figures aren't stopping Razorfish's Mobile Practice Lead, Paul Gelb, from making a bold prediction: "I think mobile ad spend will overtake television." And he isn't talking about decades from now; he believes mobile could surpass television in the coming years.