Social media, big agencies, blah, blah

31 March 2010

We’re off again. Yet more articles in yet more so-called industry publications bashing the “agencies don’t get social media” stick. This particular one got my goat because it’s by someone I respected.

A few thoughts in response (I didn’t comment on the article because I refuse to register on a site just to provide an opinion – easier and quicker for me to do it here).

I have news for everyone. The “Slide 29 Syndrome” isn’t specific to digital communications nor to social media. In fact, the smart agencies have learnt from the first wave of the Internet and implemented things designed specifically to avoid this shortsightedness. As a result:

  1. It wouldn’t be an account exec making the call. Any agency who puts an important RFP response in the hands of an account exec probably isn’t taking that opportunity particularly seriously.
  2. Whoever heads the digital specialist group would already know about the RFP because they are members of the senior management team.
  3. Even if this particular scenario was true, the whole pitch team would be brought to book by the CEO for not identifying the relevant skills required earlier in the process and collaborating to deliver the best response to the client.
  4. It’s nothing to do with billing hours. This is a new business opportunity, so utilisation doesn’t even come into it.
  5. Most importantly, as another commenter pointed out, most of the time social media isn’t the answer to the problem – or even part of the answer.

Rather than continually trying to make out that individual consultants, small boutiques, independent agencies, large consultancies are somehow better than each other, I suggest we all just get on with the job of delivering the best results for clients desperate to understand how to achieve their marketing objectives using a strategy that combines the most appropriate mix of techniques and tools.

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2 Responses to “Social media, big agencies, blah, blah”

  1. Niall O'Malley

    Hi Niall – I can understand your frustration at the argument that social media is not fully considered as part of the new business process.

    In my experience, the PR industry has been quick to learn its lessons and now quite often the principle behind the recommended strategy is underpinned by social media engagement. A few years ago the ’slide 29′ problem may have been evident – but not now, surely…

  2. Niall Cook

    Hi Niall. I fully agree, hence my post. I’m not the one frustrated, but the author of the original article that I linked to.

    My frustration is that people in our industry still think there’s any kind of debate to be had.

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