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Leading the Digital Charge

Leading the Digital Charge
Published March 16, 2011 by ashleegerow Comments: 1

Over the past few weeks, the team here at Strategic Insights has been diligently putting our heads together and feverishly working on a new design for our agency’s website. After countless brainstorming sessions, sketches and wireframes, we have hit the ground running to develop a new site that’s not only visually appealing, but user-friendlier as well.

This process has made me start to look at fellow agency websites with a new perspective – not only as a fellow marketing professional, but also as a user. It made me wonder, on more than one occasion, how important is an agency’s web presence to its overall success?

It wasn’t THAT long ago that I was beginning my post-graduation job search in the Triangle, trying to find an agency that I felt represented what the public relations and marketing industries were doing; an agency that understood and embraced the upcoming digital age and was strongly practicing this “new media” (maybe it WAS that long ago…). I was surprised to see how many agencies in the area had websites that were, for lack of a better word, boring. There was nothing to lure me in, nothing to entice me to look any further, let alone apply for a job there; nothing new or exciting in their portfolios. No Twitter (did Twitter even exist then?), Facebook still only allowed college students to partake (ahhh, the good ol’ days…) and Skype wasn’t even a real word. Everything was traditional – nothing broke the mold. Compare my search four years ago to my search today, and it’s clear how much the game as changed.

These days, almost every company, whether a marketing agency or otherwise, has gone “digital” to some degree – whether it’s with a dynamic website, an online store or social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook or Skype, business owners understand the impact the Internet can have on their business. In many cases, it makes or breaks consumer interest and loyalty. And with roughly 75% of all Americans actively online in 2010, the Internet reaches audiences many companies could never dream of reaching ten years ago with traditional media – at a price they can afford, that is.

The need for an engaging, interactive and robust web presence is, in my opinion, even more important for those of us in the communications industry. Just because we create these digital resources, doesn’t mean that we should neglect to utilize them for our own benefit. It should mean we go above and beyond what other industries are doing. We should be trendsetters and lead the charge, showing current and potential clients what we do, how well we do it and how we can apply that to their business.

By incorporating interactive media, social media and Internet marketing into a traditional marketing portfolio, your agency becomes more attractive to clients looking for more than the status quo – you make yourself unique in a market that is filled with agencies both large and small, ready and willing to take your place.

What do you think? Do you think an agency’s web presence is a key consideration for potential clients? What are some weaknesses you see in some agency websites that you’ve perused lately (let’s play nice and not name names)? Share your thoughts!

Stay tuned over the next month as the SI team rolls out our new website! Also, keep checking our blog and Twitter accounts – we promise to keep it updated as much as we can with new project announcements, portfolio pieces, news updates and general marketing musings from the entire SI family.

Discussion

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One Response to “Leading the Digital Charge”

  1. Bill Cokas said:

    I agree wholeheartedly that agencies should be setting the example and pioneering new standards and technology for websites. How else are we to know what works and what doesn’t, or what to recommend and what to avoid? However, it’s a vicious cycle as we become victims of our own success. We launch our own website, loaded with the latest bells and whistles, which attracts more business. As we tend to this business, we necessarily neglect our own (non-revenue-generating) website. Before you know it three or four (or more) years have passed, and our own website grows quainter and quainter by the standards of the day. In the meantime, at least, we get to practice and implement innovations on our clients’ sites, thereby keeping us on the leading edge. When it’s time (and when WE have time) to turn back to our own site, we’re already up to speed.