While the economy is tough, marketers retrench and watch expenses. Larger marketers tend to have lots of specialist companies on payroll: Ad agencies, PR firms, direct marketing shops, media buying services, digital shops, promotion agencies. As they look at these rosters and think about winnowing the list down they ask “Which of my shops will deliver the best value?” The answer must be the ad agency. They are more strategic and have the best general understanding of all the communications channels. Smart marketers will give more work to the ad agency, while not-so-smart marketers will give more work to the digital agency — trying to ride the ROI wave – where it is believed that digital is more measurable, predictable, and manageable.
Digital shops, who admittedly are becoming more strategic, are still to tactically focused. In tough economic times the general ad agency is the most powerful partner. Peace!