Many large corporations use separate agencies for digital and traditional advertising. I’m thinking brands like Coca-Cola and Chevrolet. It’s just the way they do it – nothing wrong with that. There are some things that digital agencies do better than traditional agencies and vice versa, and it’s nice to get the best of both. And at times digital and traditional seem like oil and water, so we keep them apart with the assumption that they won’t mix.
But is it always the best approach?
History will show us that the best campaigns are fully integrated. Think of the Old Spice guy on TV commercials and the subsequent Twitter sensation. While a company can achieve great successes like that through separating their agencies into distinct disciplines, there are incredible benefits to bridging the gap between online and offline through a single agency.
There’s faster turnaround (“Oh hey, let’s put together a check-in promotion and promote it on our print ads with a QR code and mobile landing page… by tomorrow”), improved negotiation leverage (“Sure, I’ll buy your online holiday ad package, if you give me a dozen :30 TV spots”), increased flexibility (“If you’re out of full-page ad space in the newspaper, we can put together creative for a website takeover and background skin”), and more fluid integration.
But if combining your traditional and digital agencies isn’t for you, you can still benefit from bridging the online and offline marketing gap. You still get all the benefits of an integrated campaign, but not necessarily the turnaround, leverage, and flexibility of a single agency. Getting all the pieces together for a wildly successful integrated campaign is still possible. It may just take more coordination on your part instead of your agency’s.
Regardless of how many agencies are involved in a campaign, online and offline marketing shouldn’t be separated like oil and water – they should be combined into something greater than the sum of its parts.
Something like dark chocolate with sea salt.