Digital: A jumpstart for connections on the web

Others that know me and consider me the “techy girl”; more on a bronze/silver level than a gold. I can and do understand a lot of “webspeak” when it comes to working on the back-end of a website, know many interesting nooks and crannies on the web, and really I know how to find almost anything about anything.

This passion for the internet and all things in it has come from a basic understanding of how advertising on the web works from a metrics standpoint and a strategy standpoint. Once I understood that you can optimize on a media plan during a campaign, I was hooked.

With the realization that not understanding interactive advertising would mean “job obsoleteness” in the future, later came the epiphany that not knowing offline would accrue the same result. Hence agencies recently rolling back in their “interactive” departments into offline/online sitting in adjacent cubicles: MindShare Reveals Major Re-structuring.

In relevance to this blog about gaps in the industry and connections planning, the question of investigation is how, and if so why is connections planning alive on the web?

Overall, the reason is that digital people have to because otherwise working as if you are doing an offline campaign would not make sense:

My observations:

  • Time Crunch: campaigns on the web can be planned anywhere from a year to three weeks in advance. It of course depends on when the advertising agency recommends the client moves, but once a client has their digital feet wet-they will tell the agency when to move (and a lot of the time, they wait until they need it A.S.A.P.) The agency has to work together, and quickly, in order to get the strategy and implementation on a roll. They have to communicate quickly and concisely; pushing each other to get their best ideas out as soon as possible because the web has deadlines too.

  • Optimization Ability: The ability to change and tweak a digital campaign allows dead sites and strategies to be thrown out and new ones brought in. This in effect, forces the agency team to continually work together as a campaign runs after launch. They check in, update, status, brainstorm the same way as if the campaign had just launched. The team might do it more sparsely because they have now focused their attention on another campaign that is TBL (to be launched) but they still have to be “in-the-know” about what the live campaigns are doing. Dead strategy, means lost dollars and weakens the ROI (meaning the goal CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click through rate) are damaged)
  • Small Teams: ideally, the number of people responsible for one client is between five to eight people at most; and much of the time that one team is responsible for upwards of four to six clients. So, the team is having to think both in lateral and vertical terms when it comes to their strategy and client administration. They don’t have the time or man power to work individually as a group, except for administrating (have you ever tried working on one computer with two people…it doesn’t matter who is working next to you–you’ll want to shove them away in a second).

Teams have to work together in digital, connections is a common place thing that has happened unspoken. The old agency model online cannot work, and will not work. To remind you of the old agency model, each department goes off in their own direction to make decision per media, per creative, per consumer/client recommendations, per PR, etc, and then shoves it all their ingredients into one cake. Not to mention the offline way of doing advertising: develop ideas, make strategy, make a plan, light a match, cover eyes and hope for the best. There is less, if no, control as compared to digital’s capabilities.

These are mere observances from interviewing people in the digital realm as well as personal experience with doing contract work on the web in terms of digital media and web design. As always, I am just a reporter on the front lines trying to show you how I see it:

But how do you see it yourself? Let me know!

————

Jennifer Hallabough

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