Friday, December 9, 2011

The Blurring of Our Business -- Opportunity or Curse?

I am back to blogging after a very busy summer and fall. I hope these posts will be of value.

The other day I received a survey in the mail from service business and one of the questions asked what kind of firm I had. These were the choices:

Media Agency
Promotions Agency
Design Agency
Social Media Firm
Mobile Marketing Agency
Marketing Research Firm
Public Relations Firm
Digital-Only Agency
Marketing Consultancy
Full Service Ad Agency
Direct Marketing Agency
Digital Agency that Also Plays in Traditional Media

Guess what. Most “traditional firms – be they advertising agencies or public relations firms – are doing much if not all of the above.

PR agencies are clearly deriving good revenue from digital; digital firms are hiring PR people for content development; advertising agencies believe they should “own” social media; design firms are getting into mobile apps; research is a “must have” for almost all marketing services firms today, etc. etc. etc.

What’s an agency owner to do?

Positioning your firm and differentiating your firm from competition (all forms of it) is fast becoming job #1 for agency heads. Look to thought leadership and specialization as the only ways to truly be distinctive – and with all the noise it is becoming harder to make any point of differentiation stand out.

It is critical to devote some of your 2012 planning time to address this. To be truly competitive today, your firm has to stand for something that clients value and you have to do a great job of getting that word out.

What do you think? Is the blurring of our business an opportunity or simply a curse we all have to live with?


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