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Does your agency outsource their digital services?

It’s kind of like this: you are a marketer, and you’ve met ‘the team’ at the ad agency. The people you have hand-picked to be a perfect fit for your business. They are specialists, they’ve studied your brand and your project, they are experts. You are impressed.

What happens when you walk out the door? 

If your agency outsources the digital services, the moment you leave, your team sorts the work into two piles: what they will do and what they will outsource to their digital partners.

Why do they do they outsource?

When agencies don’t have the skills to provide (and charge for) digital services, they get someone else to do it and label it as their own. This is where partners come in.

Who are the partners?

Some good digital businesses provide a whitelisted option for agencies. But, in most cases, the partners are large firms, and in their digital ecosystem, you are a small fish and compete with very big fish for their attention. They don’t know you or your brand very well. They are focussed on other things.

What’s the problem with using partners? Many problems will impact your campaigns.

  •  Digital can be a complicated area, so when you call your team for an update, you need to hear what’s happening directly from the people doing the work.
  • If your team needs to call a partner for updates for you, they will have to attempt to explain it all to you. It can be a bit like Chinese whispers.
  • The partners won’t be able to move in real time with your team, to ride the daily waves of change in your campaigns
  • Your team won’t know the daily tactics the partners are (or aren’t) implementing, the results they are getting or the suggestions they have for improvement.
  • Your team won’t be able to develop strategies or make recommendations based on the learnings they have made. Your team will need to defer to the partner, who isn’t as focused on your business as you would like.

Do you want to pay two agencies for the work of one?

That’s another big mistake you make using an agency who outsource their digital services. The partners charge a fee, and so does your agency. With two fees on every job, how much money are you wasting? With all your mainstream and digital smarts in the one building, that’s one fee. Makes sense!

How would I know?

As an agency went down the outsourcing route for a very short time a few years ago. It was a bad experience for both us and our clients for all of these reasons and much more. Outsourcing is certainly the easiest and cheapest option for an agency. But it just doesn’t work.

How many digitals am I holding up?

Ask your agency to introduce you to their in-house digital specialists, the people that integrate all your traditional advertising with your online advertising. If they aren’t full-time employees on your team, you may have a problem.

You should expect more

We’re an advertising agency in the entertainment and leisure business, and we provide a holistic service, in-house. The specialists you meet are the people who work on your business 24/7. The digital experts you meet work here, and they’re the same individuals who meld your mainstream media to work with your online media and vice versa.

Our team create the strategies and campaigns, they know you, they know your objectives and each element of the campaign, along with its purpose. So, when you tell our team something, nothing will be lost in translation.

If your agency is outsourcing your all-important digital, it’s time to get out and source another agency.

About Emma Triggs

Emma has created campaigns for some of the world’s biggest entertainment and leisure brands over the last 25 years and is currently Agency Principal at The M Agency.

Emma’s advertising career started in global agencies Ogilvy & Mather, DDB Needham and Young & Rubicam. Emma worked in the Finance and FMCG categories, managing campaigns for brands within the American Express, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive portfolios.

In 1994 Emma chose to go client-side and to pursue her passion for entertainment. She joined Sony Music Entertainment where she became the Director of Advertising. During her time there, Emma was a key member of the Sony Integration Team where she worked closely with Sony Computer Entertainment for the launch of Playstation, and with Sony Pictures and Sony Consumer Electronics.

Looking at agencies from the client’s view, Emma realised that there was a need for a specialist entertainment marketing and advertising agency. So, in 1999 Emma founded The M Agency (formerly M Advertising), a full-service agency specialising in entertainment, arts and lifestyle. The agency works on over 500 campaigns a year in Australasia and maintains offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

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