Advertising agencies compromise values for Twitter followers

There is a curious tension in the current agency landscape – a vast mismatch between what clients’ needs are and what agencies are working on, and this gap seems to be widening.

Chief marketing executives are struggling to provide their clients with quality advertising services in a climate where technological progression and social media marketing has taken precedent.

The internet has been a mixed blessing as although it functions as an effective platform for marketing with the use of memes, media channels and file sharing on a grand scale and trends like content marketing, native advertising, and influencer marketing to navigate and leverage.

With all these resources at the fingertips of the marketing agents, advertising and successful promotion of businesses should be a more attainable goal than ever before. Yet clients’ problems are much bigger than this, as problems are increasingly focused on what new technology and new behaviours mean to the core of their businesses.

Supermarket chains are sucked into offering delivery on groceries despite history showing that profits are unrealistic and difficult to achieve. Over-the-top message companies like Whatsapp are undermining mobile operators’ ability to make money from texts, but also reducing their role to dumb data pipes. Retailers face threats from online shopping and showrooming, and media owners face disappearing revenues as attention moves online.

All of these component combined would suggest a more bountiful and innovative advertising industry however the improvement is merely cosmetic. A glance at advertising agencies’ websites and their case studies show our centre of gravity is smaller than ever. It seems a world of cheap media, production and talent has led to a deflation in ambition.

This is cause for concern in the advertising industry as campaigns are becoming less imaginative and ultimately less effective. Marketing appears to rely too much on social media; it is far simpler and almost obligatory to design a small-scale campaign on Twitter that may garner a few followers or create an informative youtube video that is viewed seldom by a few internet surfers.

Another appeal of real-time and social media marketing is its inclusiveness. Twitter, Youtube and Facebook are all free to sign up to be used for the businesses’ advertising needs. Unfortunately it has become increasingly difficult to have an impact when companies are overly concerned about their Twitter followers and keeping them happy and entertained.

One could argue that this is not a time to cut staff, embrace gimmicks and indulge in ever more tactical pursuits, this is the time to think big, take risks, take on management consultants and lead our clients to a prosperous future.

Guardian Business News

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