Do Advertising Agencies Still Exist in the Digital Age?

The traditional advertising industry has been in a state of decline for the past decade, as the focus has shifted away from TV commercials to social and search platforms. Consumers now have the ability to purchase anything at any time, and direct-to-consumer models are breaking down big brands. This has caused the advertising and marketing business to change drastically, as consumers no longer want to be marketed to. Moburst is an example of a company that has adapted to this new landscape.

They provide ASO services to an investment and trading company, helping them promote their application through organic and paid channels, as well as creating ads and researching keywords. From my experience working with an agency for a long time, I've noticed that the trend is towards more project-based one-off jobs, rather than the old “registration agency” job where everything is done on an ongoing basis. Agencies need to take a hard look at their internal structure and corporate mindset in order to stay competitive in this new market. This could mean developing proprietary advertising technology to sell subscriptions, launching continuous work programs based on CRM, or something completely different that can provide a steady stream of revenue.

Forrester predicted over 10 years ago that agencies would need to move from “orchestrating campaigns to facilitating conversations” in order to survive. Unfortunately, many agencies are still struggling with this transition, and it's causing them to lose out on top talent due to poor work-life balance. Google is a great example of a company that has successfully adapted to the digital age. They created Google Ads, which has become a billion-dollar business right in the face of the global advertising market.

In order for agencies to stay competitive, they need to start offering more than just brand advertising. This could include compensation for activities that they don't charge for, such as creation and planning, as well as success commissions for e-commerce revenue generation or exceeding performance targets. I've seen roles for clients, media, consulting and creative people fade more and more as brands born with the Internet don't have decades of history running massive national television campaigns and magazines guided by traditional advertising agencies.

Terrie Rubick
Terrie Rubick

Certified beer fan. Freelance coffee fanatic. Freelance social media buff. Unapologetic coffee specialist. Freelance internet maven.

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